Prescription Drugs / Prescription Fraud
The United States is a nation full of prescription drug abuse, and Florida is not only not an exception – it's an infamous epicenter. Despite progress made, over 1,000 people died in 2012 with a contributing factor being at least one contributing factor. Law enforcement is aware of these trends, and has increased its efforts in the failing War on Drugs by making numerous arrests.
Whether your arrest for prescription drug possession or prescription fraud came out of an underlying addiction or a downright misunderstanding, your rights and your freedom are at stake. It is important to work with an experienced West Palm Beach drug crime defense attorney who will fight to protect you from infringements on your rights and from serious penalties like prison time in your Palm Beach County area prescription drug case.
West Palm Beach Prescription Drug Defense Lawyer
A conviction for illegal prescription drug possession or prescription drug fraud not only comes with severe statutory penalties, it has consequences that affect your opportunities in the future. If you have been arrested for illegal prescription drug possession or prescription drug fraud anywhere in the Palm Beach County area, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, take an important first step in your defense and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A..
When considering an experienced West Palm Beach defense attorney, it is best to contact one as soon as possible after your arrest. Andrew Stine has over a decade of experience helping criminal defense clients like you and can immediately begin fighting to protect your rights and working for a favorable outcome like dropped or reduced charges.
As a former army medic turned public defender, Andrew Stine has the passion and militant attention to detail it takes to successfully fight prescription drug charges in the West Palm Beach area. For more information on how Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can help your Palm Beach County prescription drug case, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule a free, initial case consultation.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs in Florida
The prescription drug abuse epidemic in Florida and the rest of the United State is centered on three kinds of drugs. The first type of drugs commonly abused are opioids, which are highly addictive and usually prescribed for pain relief. The second type are central nervous system depressants, like sedatives and tranquilizers, prescribed for sleep disorders and anxiety.
The third type of drug commonly leading to prescription drug abuse in the United States are stimulants used to treat conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, depression, and obesity. Illegal access to any number of these substances is prevalent in Florida, but the most common drugs found in Palm Beach County include:
- Methadone – Dialudid, Palladone
- Hydrocodone – Vicodin, Lortab
- Alprazolam – Xanax
- Diazepam – Valium
- Amphetamine – Adderall
Despite the commonality of all of these abused prescription drugs in Florida, oxycodone (OxyContin, , Roxicodone, Percocet), is still the number one abused prescription drug in the state. The large prevalence of illegal actions involving oxycodone recent years became so outstanding that Florida earned the unfortunate nickname, "The Oxy Express."
Cracking down on prescription drug abuse has become the goal of many Florida law enforcement agencies, including those in Palm Beach County, and arrests for illegal prescription drug possession and other prescription drug charges are now a common occurrence. No matter which prescription drug you were arrested on charges for, or if you face possession or fraud conviction, an experienced West Palm Beach drug crime defense attorney can fight to protect your rights from infringement and work toward a more favorable outcome than conviction like a not guilty verdict.
Palm Beach County Prescription Drug Charges and Penalties
The drug laws involving controlled substances as prescription drugs and prescription drug fraud are extensive and legally complicated. There are many possible offenses you may be charged with in regard to illegal activity with prescription drugs within Florida's extensive drug laws, all with different implications, statutory penalties, and consequences.
When considering a criminal defense lawyer as part of your Palm Beach County prescription drug case, it is important to select an experienced West Palm Beach attorney who understands the complexities of Florida drug law and how it applies to your case. Once you choose and attorney, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest for any of the following offenses:
- Illegal possession of prescription drugs – Fla. Stat 893.13(6)(a) states that it is unlawful for any person to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless it was lawfully obtained by prescription from an authorized party, such as a doctor. This third-degree felony prescription drug crime is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- It is important to note that this offense is only a third-degree felony up to a specific amount specified by statute for each drug, after which it turns into a drug trafficking offense. For instance, if you are in possession of opiates like Oxycodone without a prescription, any amount over 4 grams is a prescription drug trafficking offense. Prescription drug trafficking is a first-degree felony.
- Illegal Possession of a Prescription Form – According to Florida Stat. 893.13 (7)(a) it is illegal to possess a prescription form or pad that has not been properly or legally completed and signed by the practitioner whose name appears on the pad or form. A first time-offense of illegal possession of a prescription pad is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Subsequent charges for this offense are third-degree felony prescription fraud.
- Obtaining prescription by fraud - An offender is considered to have committed a third-degree felony prescription fraud offense under Fla. Stat. 893.13 (7)(a)9 if he or she acquires, obtains, or attempts to acquire or obtain possession of a prescription controlled substance by misrepresentation, forgery, fraud or subterfuge. Conviction for prescription fraud under this law is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
- Doctor Shopping – There are two statutes in Florida that deal with the prescription drug offense of doctor shopping: 893.13(7)(a)8 and 893.13(7)(a)13. The first law states that it is illegal to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for such a controlled substance while withholding the fact that you received such a prescription or substance from a different practitioner within 30 days.
The second statute holds that it is unlawful for a person to obtain or attempt to obtain from a practitioner a prescription for a Schedule II, II, or IV controlled substance that is not medically necessary, or that is in an amount that is more than medically necessary, through the use of misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or concealment of material fact.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Defense Attorney for Palm Beach County Prescription Drug Charges
If you have been arrested and charged on illegal possession of prescription drugs or prescription drug charges in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or any of the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can fight to protect you from conviction. Andrew Stine has over a decade of experience working as a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer, including a stint as a public defender, and is passionate about helping people like you. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561-832-1170 today and schedule yours.