Can Prescription Drugs Get You in Trouble in Florida?
There are different penalties for different drugs in Florida. If your doctor has recently prescribed you a narcotic, you may have some concerns. There are certainly some things to be aware of regarding Florida’s prescription drug laws. The Sunshine State’s government is trying to reduce the abuses of prescription drugs in Florida. This is partly due to the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. To help it fight prescription drug abuse, Florida has enacted some of the harshest drug control laws in the country.
For example, it is illegal to have any prescription drug without a proper prescription in Florida. You also can not have prescription medicines that do not belong to you or were intended for somebody else. You cannot have prescription medications if the person who wrote the prescription is not allowed to write prescriptions. There are some exceptions to these laws, but these apply primarily to professionals. For example, there may be a need to transport prescription medications for medical or pharmaceutical purposes.
What Are the Penalties for Breaking Prescription Drug Laws in Florida?
The state of Florida follows the Federal Controlled Substance Act. As such, drugs are broken down into five “Schedules,” which can be thought of as a severity classification. Schedule 1 drugs are thought to have less medical benefit while carrying the highest chance of abuse. This includes drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and LSD. Most of the most common prescription drugs fall into Schedule 2. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are legally controlled and heavily restricted prescription drugs. These are also very common prescriptions. However, even if they are common, you could still face a third-degree felony for possession. This means you may face five years in prison or a fine of up to $5000 for failing to have the correct documentation.
Florida State Oversight
Florida tracks controlled substances like prescription medications through a monitoring program. This program is called the Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substance Evaluation Program – Also known as E-FORCSE. This program enables police to track which doctors prescribed which medications, allowing easier tracking. Each time these medications are dispensed, a report is made. Though there are some exemptions, these tend to be for special cases. Florida law is very clear about the expectations and penalties surrounding prescription medication.
If you have been charged with unlawful possession or any other controlled substance crime in Florida, our team will help you prepare a defense strategy. Because the rules are so clear, so are potential defenses. Let us find them for you.