Prescription Drug Crimes

When most people think of drug crimes, they think of illegal street drugs such as cocaine or heroin. However, prescription drug crimes are one of the fastest growing areas of drug-related offenses throughout Florida. All prescription drugs are covered under state and federal drug laws. These substances are regulated and subject to the same classification system, criminal charges, and harsh penalties just like illegal narcotics. A defendant may therefore face charges for the unlawful possession, possession with intent, sale, distribution, manufacturing or trafficking of prescription drugs.

Arrested for a prescription drug crime? We can help.

At Thomas & Paulk, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and interests in handling all types of drug charges related to prescriptions, including:

  • OxyContin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycodone
  • Xanax
  • Codeine
  • Valium and more

Florida Mandatory Minimums for Prescription Drugs

Florida Statutes § 893.135 establishes mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of prescription drug sales, delivery, manufacturing, or trafficking. Those penalties include:

  • 3 years / $50k fine for 4-14 grams
  • 15 years / $100k fine for 14-27 grams
  • 25 years / $500k fine for 28 grams – 30kg
  • Life in prison without parole – More than 30kg

Drugs included in these mandatory minimums are morphine, opium, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or any of those drugs' derivatives.

Regardless of the nature or severity of your charges, Thomas & Paulk, P.A. is here to help. In order to lawfully possess or take a prescription drug, one must have a valid prescription. As prescription medications are controlled substances, a person may face felony charges if found to be in possession of any one or more of these drugs without a prescription. A person may also face criminal charges for prescription fraud, which involves committing fraud in order to obtain a prescription.

What is Doctor Shopping?

One recent phenomenon in regards to prescription fraud is what is known as doctor shopping. This is a practice of going to multiple different doctors about the same illness of symptoms in an attempt to gain multiple different prescriptions. Usually, if someone is doctor shopping, it from an addiction to a certain prescription and in many cases, the patient may exaggerate their symptoms or may fabricate them entirely. Common drugs that are abused in this process include painkillers and sedatives.

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