Can I Be Charged for Possession of Medication That is Not Prescribed to Me?
The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States is cause for real concern with the health of Americans at stake. Addicts regularly abuse drugs used to treat chronic diseases such as nerve pain and anxiety.
Miami criminal defense lawyers have seen an influx of people, charged by the police, for unlawful possession of scheduled medications such as OxyContin, Xanax, and Vicodin. If law enforcement officers catch you with prescription meds on your person without a doctor’s prescription, you could face serious charges that include jail time and fines.
Florida Statutes Chapter 893 makes it illegal to carry controlled substances without a prescription from a licensed medical professional.
Felony Penalties for Illegal Possession of Prescription Medications
Common controlled substances include but are not limited to amphetamines such as Adderall, benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and narcotics, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, methadone, and morphine.
Controlled substances include prescription pain pills, anxiety medications, amphetamines, and various other drugs. These drugs are classified as schedule 1 or schedule 2 medications, meaning that they require a prescription to purchase and possess them. Illegal possession of the above-discussed prescription medications starts as a third-degree felony, carrying a prison sentence of up to five years, and a fine of up to $5,000. However, possession of greater amounts of prescription drugs quickly becomes second and first-degree felonies.
For example, trafficking in Oxycodone penalties are outlined below:
- 4 grams up to 14 grams – minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a mandatory $50,000 fine.
- 14 grams up to 28 grams – minimum mandatory sentence of fifteen years in prison and a mandatory $100,000 fine.
- 28 grams up to 30 kilograms – minimum mandatory sentence of twenty-five years in prison and a mandatory $500,000 fine.
When Do the Police Need a Warrant?
The police require a warrant to search any private property. However, there are certain situations where the police may discover “exigent circumstances” that allow them to search without a warrant. Police can receive voluntary consent from a suspect to search their property. If officers feel there is a threat to safety or destruction of evidence, they may enter your property without a warrant.
Request for Suppression of Evidence
The prosecution may find it challenging to prove exigent circumstances were valid for the search. If charged with possession, you should seek representation from our criminal lawyer in Miami. We will argue against the basis of the “exigent circumstances” in court, on your behalf. If the prosecution fails to provide supporting evidence proving the nature of the exigent circumstances, the charges may be deemed invalid, and your case dismissed by the courts.
Investigating officers sometimes collect evidence without following proper law enforcement procedure. Under these circumstances, your Miami criminal defense lawyer can request a suppression hearing to make any evidence obtained illegally, inadmissible in court. Your rights against unreasonable and illegal search and seizure of your property, by the police, are guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Violation of these rights constitutes a breach of police procedure and could result in the judge throwing your case out of court.
What to Do if You’re Facing Criminal Charges for Possession
If charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, call our criminal defense attorney in Miami immediately. Our criminal defense attorney will arrange for your bail and release, as well as legal representation in court. Don’t take the charges lightly, possession of a controlled substance is an offense carrying severe penalties.
Your lawyer will argue your case on your behalf and ensure that the police followed procedure correctly. Failure to find representation could result in a lengthy jail sentence. Speak to legal professionals with experience in client defenses against controlled substance charges. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between your freedom, and a hefty jail sentence.
Stroleny Law, P.A handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami.