Prescription Drug Charge Defense in Pensacola, FL
Call (850) 503-2626 to Let the The Morris Firm Protect Your Rights & Future
Although opioid medication has been prescribed to treat chronic and moderate pain, the abuse of prescription drugs has been a national epidemic for decades. Since opioids have a similar chemical makeup compared to heroin, many patients have become addicted and often overdose. That is why Florida lawmakers have made prescription drug crimes—from possession to trafficking—punishable by harsh penalties.
If you have been accused of a prescription drug crime in Pensacola, do not hesitate to let the The Morris Firm fight for you. We understand that individuals who abuse opioids are not criminals. Instead, they are in need of rehabilitative services to kick the addiction and get their lives back on the right track. Our Pensacola drug crime attorneys can assess your case and determine your available legal options to get the help you need to overcome abuse and your charges dismissed.
contact us today to learn more about our legal services.
Florida Prescription Drug Offenses & Penalties
According to Florida drug laws, there are five schedules of controlled substances. While Schedule I drugs have the highest potential of abuse and no accepted medical use, Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential of abuse and widely accepted medical use.
Schedule II controlled substances consist of prescription drugs such as codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Examples of Schedule III drugs include ketamine, Vicodin, and Tylenol with codeine, while examples of Schedule IV drugs include Valium and Xanax.
Unlawful possession of a prescription drug in Florida is a third-degree felony, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a fine no more than $5,000. Unlawful possession of a prescription drug that isn’t a controlled substance is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to 60 days and a maximum $500 fine.
Possession of a Schedule III or IV drug with intent to distribute is also a third-degree felony. However, possession of a Schedule II drug with intent to distribute is a second-degree felony, punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years and fine worth up to $10,000.
If you are found in unlawful possession of a significant amount of a controlled substance, you could face trafficking charges, instead of possession with intent to sell. For instance, if you are found in possession of at least 14 grams of OxyContin or fentanyl, you can be charged with a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum 30-year prison term (with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years) and fines of at least $50,000.
Another type of common prescription drug offense is fraud, such as illegally obtaining a prescription by providing fraudulent information, altering a prescription, stealing prescription pads, or obtaining multiple prescriptions for different doctors (also known as “doctor shopping”). Obtaining a prescription by fraud is a third-degree felony.
Drug Diversion Programs
The criminal courts understand many people charged with prescription drug crimes are addicts—not seasoned criminals. That is why they offer several diversion programs, which gives defendants the ability to get their entire case dismissed after meeting all conditions of a program.
Some common types of drug diversion programs in Florida include:
- Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) – This program run by the Florida Department of Corrections (COC) is designed for first-time offenders charged with a non-violent misdemeanor.
- Drug Court – This program is designed for individuals who have been charged with a non-violent misdemeanor or felony due to drug addiction.
- Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program (JDAP) – This program is designed for youth offenders who are 17 years old or younger.
Common types of conditions for these programs include drug testing, individual/group counseling, frequent court appearances, and other probation-like activities. If we can’t obtain a not-guilty verdict, our Pensacola drug crime attorney can review your case and determine if you are eligible for any of the diversion programs mentioned above.
Call (850) 503-2626 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with us today.