Prescription Drug Crimes
Florida has seen a sharp increase in the number of individuals arrested for drug crimes involving prescriptions over the last 10 years. Many of these cases involve diverted pharmaceuticals (such as hydrocodone and oxycodone) that are sold on the street to individuals suffering from an addiction to these powerful controlled substances. Charges include simple possession, possession with intent to sell or distribute, trafficking, prescription fraud, and prescription forgery.
The penalties are harsh. In fact, the possession of just seven (7) hydrocodone pills without a valid prescription leads to charged with a mandatory minimum three-year sentence that must be served day for day in Florida State Prison. The statutory scheme looks at the aggregate weight of the entire prescription pill. Drug trafficking penalties apply equally to the drug dealer and the drug addict.
Lawyer for Prescription Drug Crimes in Brooksville, FL
If you are charged with any drug trafficking crime involving prescription pills then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville, Hernando County, FL. Attorney Ashley Aulls aggressively fights these charges to help his clients at every stage of the case. He will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if law enforcement officers conducted an illegal search. He also fights the charged when insufficient evidence exists to prove actual or construtive possession. He also fights prescription drug cases throughout the Fifth Judicial Circuit including Hernando County, Citrus County, and Sumter County, Florida. Contact hime today at (352) 593-4115.
Prescription Drug Crime Information Center in Florida
- Examples of Drug Trafficking Penalties for Prescription Pills
- Types of Prescription Drug Abuse
- Fraud in Prescription Drug Cases
- Forgery in Prescription Drug Cases
- Law Enforcement Crack Down on Pill Mills
- Florida’s Pill Mill Bill to Prevent Prescription Drug Crimes
- Finding an Attorney for Prescription Drug Crimes in Brooksville, FL
Hydrocodone Trafficking Penalties in Florida
- 7 hydrocodone pills = 4 grams to under 14 grams = 3 years minimum / mandatory in prison
- 22 hydrocodone pills = 14 grams to under 28 grams = 15 years minimum / mandatory in prison
- 44 hydrocodone pills = 28 grams to under 30 kilograms = 25 years minimum / mandatory in prison
- 30 kilograms or more = life in prison
Oxycodone Trafficking Penalties in Florida
- 31 oxycodone pills = 4 grams to under 14 grams = 3 years minimum / mandatory in prison
- 108 oxycodone pills = 14 grams to under 28 grams = 15 minimum / mandatory years in prison
- 215 oxycodone pills = 28 grams to under 30 kilograms = 25 minimum / mandatory years in prison
- 30 kilograms or more = life in priso
Law enforcement officers throughout Florida, including in Hernando County, have reported that the most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioid pain relievers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Types of prescription drugs include:
- OxyContin® (oxycodone);
- Vicodin® (hydrocodone);
- Soma®; and
Charges for obtaining prescription drugs by fraud is often called pharmaceutical diversion. It is defined as the illegal acquisition of prescription drugs for personal use or profit. Examples of obtaining prescription drugs by fraud includes:
- visiting numerous doctors to obtain prescriptions (“Doctor Shopping”);
- obtaining the prescription pills illegally on the internet or through the mail;
- forging prescriptions;
- stealing pills from a family member or friend; and
- altering or changing the written prescription to increase the number of pills obtained.
One of the most common forms of prescription fraud is carried out when a person commits a forgery involving a prescription. In many of these cases, the prescription pills are obtaining using forged prescriptions. Forgery can include duplicating a prescription, altering the prescription to increase the number of pills, or counterfeiting a prescription.
Law enforcement officers have targeted pain management clinics (often called “pill mills”) throughout the Fifth Judicial Circuit including Hernando County, Sumter County and Citrus County, FL. The proliferation of pill mills in Florida ended when the state implemented the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). In March of 2011, Florida also created Regional Drug Enforcement Strike Forces that coordinated with local law enforcement officers, including the Brooksville Police Department and the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
These law enforcement efforts targeted physicians, wholesalers, pharmacies, and “doctor shopping” patients with addictions to these powerful drugs. As of December of 2013, Florida has arrested 67 doctors, seized more than 800,000 pharmaceutical pills, more than ten million dollars, more than 120 vehicles, and more than 500 weapons. These law enforcement efforts resulted in the closure of more than 250 pain clinics in the state.
On May 6, 2011, the Florida legislature passed House Bill 7095, relating to Prescription Drugs (often called the “Pill Mill Bill”). The pill mill bill regulated the prescription and distribution of all pain management drugs and other controlled substances. The regulations controlled all aspects of its distribution form the wholesalers to the doctors to the pharmacies.
In 2011, Florida enacted House Bill 7095. This new law targeted prescription drug diversion by doing the following:
- required pharmacies dispensing Schedule II and III prescription medications to renew permits with the State of Florida;
- required wholesale prescription drug distributors to credential customers and report on the distribution of pain medications;
- creating a standard of care for all physicians prescribing controlled substances to treat chronic pain;
- requiring doctors to electronically prescribe pain medications or use counterfeit-proof prescription pads;
- requiring health care professionals to make a patient’s prescription history available to law enforcement officers;
- prohibiting the distribution of Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances by doctors; and
- making the distribution of Schedule II and Schedule II controlled substances by physicians grounds for licensure discipline and a third degree felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If you need a prescription drug defense attorney in Brooksville, Hernando County, FL, then contact attorney Ashley Aulls. He fights these cases aggressively to protect his clients from the harsh minimum mandatory senteces sought by prosecutors. For any prescription pill case in the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Hernando County, Citrus County, or Sumter County, then call (352) 593-4115 today.