It should be no surprise that prescription drugs are tightly controlled by both state and federal law. After all, even though they are legal substances, they can have powerful, mind-altering effects and are frequently abused by addicts and pushed by dealers. Florida takes illegal possession of prescription drugs very seriously, and you should be aware of the law and your rights under the law.
What Is a Controlled Substance?
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), both illegal street drugs and legal medications are categorized into “Schedules,” with Schedule 1 drugs being the most harmful and Schedule 5 drugs being the least likely to cause harm. Schedule 1 drugs have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This category includes drugs like heroin,
LSD, Ecstasy, and marijuana. Prescription drugs with a high potential for abuse fall under Schedule 2 and include Demerol, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. Other common prescription drugs fall under schedules 3-5. This is important because a drug’s designated schedule will determine in part the penalty for illegal possession of it.
Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Prescription Drug
Florida Statute 893.13(6)(a) makes it illegal for anyone to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription. This charge is a third-degree felony carrying with it a maximum penalty of five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Prescription drug abuse is widespread in Florida and authorities are cracking down on drug manufacturers, doctors, dealers, and abusers in an effort to get control of the problem. Unfortunately, this also means that innocent people are often caught in the net.
How Could I Be Falsely Charged?
Many of us, especially those of us who are on daily medications, remove medications from their original prescription bottles and place them in pill organizers, plastic baggies, or even in their pockets. If you are pulled over for a traffic offense, for example, and your unlabeled medications are discovered, you could be charged with possession. The charges should be dropped once you produce the prescription, but you may still end up in court, costing you time and money. If you are falsely charged, call the Clifton Law Office as soon as possible to avoid what could be a long battle.
Whether you were falsely charged or are struggling with addiction, Doug Clifton will fight for your rights under the law when you are charged with possession. Everybody deserves a defense. Allow Doug to hear your story and tell you if he can help.