Trafficking In Pills Charges In Florida

Orlando Trafficking in Pills Defense Attorney

Unlawful prescription of prescription drugs or prescription drug fraud is a growing concern throughout Florida and Orlando is no exception. An individual can be accused of criminal charges related to prescription drug fraud in several different ways including:

  • Forging prescriptions
  • Stealing prescription pads
  • Possessing a prescription drug without a valid prescription for it
  • Buying a prescription drug over the internet without a valid prescription
  • Getting a prescription drug prescribed to another person like a family member
  • Altering prescriptions to change the number of refills or the quantity of the drug
  • Possessing a prescription drug with the intent to deliver or sell

What You Must Know About Schedule II Drugs

An arrest for any drug that is categorized as Schedule II will come with serious consequences if you’re convicted. Being able to handle this charge successfully by finding a lawyer you can trust is the only way to protect yourself, especially if the drugs found near or on you were not yours. These cases can be especially hard to provide, which is why the right lawyer is not only recommended but a necessity to protect your rights in full.

Many prescription drugs are categorized as schedule II drugs under Florida’s law as a substance that has high abuse potential which can also lead to physical or psychological dependence. Some of the most common drugs associated with prescription drug fraud or trafficking in pills cases in Florida include:

  • Xanax
  • Ritalin
  • Valium
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin
  • Oxycodone
  • Ventolin

The penalties for prescription drug fraud in Florida are serious. Given that Florida has been known for many years as a hub of the prescription medication abuse epidemic, the authorities are only pursuing these trafficking charges much more seriously. In Florida, it is illegal to have any prescription pills without a valid prescription. This is true even if someone in your own family  gives you medication to assist you with a temporary painful situation.

If you are found with a large number of medications that require a prescription without a valid prescription for using them, you could face trafficking charges. Many people do not realize the severity of being accused of trafficking in pills in Orlando.

It is essential that you know your options immediately. These crimes are prosecuted quickly and stiffly throughout Florida and can have life changing consequences. A talented prescription drug trafficking defense attorney in Orlando should be retained immediately after you have been accused or become a subject of an investigation.

The strategies often used by the prosecution should be well understood by your Orlando criminal defense attorney.

What You Need to Know About Changes in Florida’s Laws on Trafficking Pills

Drug trafficking is a crime in the state of Florida that encompasses simple possession of any illegal drug as long as you have more than a certain weight or amount on your person. In the past, that threshold was 4 grams, however, this was not just the weight of the opioid substance itself, but rather the weight of the entire pill.

This means that just having seven painkiller pills could be classified as trafficking them and this would lead to a mandatory minimum sentence of trafficking in opioids of three years in the past. However, the laws have changed as a result of SB360 which raised the trafficking threshold weights for hydrocodone and oxycodone and adjusted minimum sentences for distribution and trafficking of these drugs.

Bear in mind that mandatory minimum sentences do still apply and without being able to consider all your options at the outset of your case, you face a higher likelihood of stiff consequences.

No matter what the charge, there is a stigma about any drug conviction on your record. Any employer or potential landlord who finds this information may use it to make decisions that could influence your future. You may never be completely sure whether or not it cost you a great job or a housing opportunity, but you will likely notice a difference from your life before. For anyone convicted of trafficking in pills and similar charges, it’s just as much about the stigma and criminal record as it is paying fines or doing the time in jail. While those time-bound issues will ultimately fade away slightly, the impact of your criminal record can haunt you for many years.

A drug conviction is something that is difficult, if not impossible, to erase. When the police and prosecutors are doing everything possible to put you behind bars, they are also working towards a resolution in your case that compromises your very future. Although you might want to make a plea for leniency, trying to do this without the help of a lawyer is a big mistake. Only a lawyer can help you with these big challenges.

Defining Prescription Drug Trafficking

Any illegal manufacture, sale, knowing possession, delivery or purchase beyond a certain amount of prescription drugs can be referred to as pill trafficking or prescription drug dealing. These are medications regulated by the FDA that require prescription from a doctor, before they can be obtained. Drug trafficking is frequently associated with charges of drug dealing in Florida as well. What elevates a charge to the level of trafficking is the large volume of a substance. However, you can still be charged with trafficking in pills even if you have a small number of pills.

Penalties in Florida For Prescription Drug Trafficking

The penalties in Florida for prescription drug trafficking are aligned with the type of medication and the quantity you have. The penalties will depend on numerous factors.

Morphine, Hydromorphone or Opium

These medications can lead to first degree felony charges of trafficking in pills. Morphine is found in prescription drugs such as Avanza, Roxanol, Oramorph SR and MS Contin. These penalties include:

  • Trafficking at least 4 grams but less than 14 grams is a $50,000 fine and 3 years in prison.
  • Between 14 and 28 grams could lead to 15 years behind bars and $100,000 in fines.
  • Trafficking more than 28 grams and less than 30 kilograms is a $500,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison.

Hydrocodone

First degree felony charges may apply if you have been found guilty of trafficking Hydrococet, Lorcet, Lortab and Vicodin. The penalties include:

  • Between 14 grams and 28 grams – $50,000 in fines and 3 years in prison.
  • Between 28 grams and 50 grams – up to $100,000 in fines and 7 years in prison.
  • Between 50 grams and 200 grams – $500,000 in fines and 15 years behind bars.
  • 200 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms is 25 years and up to $750,000 in fines.

Oxycodone

Found with Oxycodone on you or near? How you choose to respond with an Orlando criminal defender will help you figure out whether or not you’ll be able to protect your freedom. Waiting too long or trusting your case to someone who is not dedicated to protecting you could be a big mistake and one you want to avoid at all costs. If the police are considering arresting you or there’s been an investigation opened against you, you need to consider talking to someone about your next steps.

First degree felony charges apply if you are trafficking in prescription drugs Percodan, Percocet, Roxicodone and Oxycontin. These penalties include:

  • Between 7 and 14 grams – up to $50,000 in fines and 3 years in prison.
  • Between 14 and 25 grams – up to $100,000 in fines and 7 years behind bars.
  • Between 25 grams but less than 100 grams could lead to up to $500,000 in fines and 15 years in prison.

Amphetamines

One of the most frequently prescribed amphetamines on the market today is Adderall, and first degree felony charges may apply if you are convicted of:

  • Trafficking between 14 and 28 grams with up to $50,000 in fines and 3 years behind bars.
  • Between 28 and 200 grams – up to $100,000 in fines and 7 years in prison.
  • Trafficking 200 grams or more – up to $250,000 in fines and 15 years in prison.

Defending Drug Trafficking In Pills Charges In Florida

There are two primary defenses to trafficking in pills charges in Orlando and elsewhere across Florida. These include addiction and measurement. The law does not take into account that someone who is addicted to prescription medications could be in possession of an amount that may qualify as trafficking. These are the types of defenders who are most likely to benefit from pre-trial diversion programs or drug counselling. Having an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney at your side is crucial.

Another way for your Orlando criminal defense lawyer to approach your case with your defense in mind is through consideration of measurement. What matters in terms of the measurement classification for your charges is the weight, but not all of a pill’s weight is the controlled substance. Usually, a pill only has a very small amount of a controlled substance with much higher concentrations of a non-controlled substance.

When the combined weight of all the pills is used instead to determine how someone will be charged, what you expected to be a minor crime can be elevated to a crime with strict mandatory minimums. In order to argue that your crime has been elevated incorrectly, you’ll need the services of an Orlando criminal defense lawyer right away.  Only an attorney can help you figure out the best way to fight off these charges.

Contact an Orlando Drug Trafficking in Pills Defense Attorney

Frost Law defends clients against all types of drug charges, including Drug Trafficking in Pills. As a former Prosecutor, attorney Chad Frost knows how the prosecution thinks and can help you craft the best possible defense. Call Frost Law at (407) 670-5569 for a FREE Consultation today.