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How prescription drugs can lead to criminal charges in Florida

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Criminal Defense

There are dozens of laws in Florida and at the federal level prohibiting certain drugs and imposing major limitations on the use of others. Prohibited or banned drugs are not legal for people to possess or use in any situation. Certain other medications are potentially dangerous but legal to use in specific circumstances. For example, people can lawfully access controlled substances when a physician recommends the use of a particular drug for someone’s treatment and they obtain the medication from a licensed facility, such as a pharmacy.

People sometimes assume that they can do essentially anything with a prescription medication. However, it is still possible to get arrested for what someone does with prescription medications. For example, the following types of conduct could lead to someone’s prosecution or prescription drug offenses in Florida.

Driving after taking medication

Someone accused of drunk driving in Florida typically either demonstrates difficulty safely operating a vehicle or has an illegal amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. The impaired driving rules are far stricter for prescription drugs. Having any amount of medication that could potentially affect someone’s driving in someone’s bloodstream could lead to their arrest and prosecution. Proof of actual impairment is not necessary, and there is no lawful limit for prescription medication while driving.

Obtaining medication improperly

Certain medications create chemical dependencies. Steroids and pain medications are among the drugs that can cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when doctors stop renewing someone’s prescription. The decision to acquire medication on the unregulated market could lead to someone’s arrest and prosecution. Even if someone has a prior prescription from their doctor, possession medication obtained from an unlicensed source or more than a doctor recommended could lead to drug charges.

Transferring medication to others

Medication can be very expensive even when people have health insurance. Someone with medication that they do not need might decide to give or sell those extra pills to someone else instead of wasting what they paid. Even if the transfer occurs without any financial benefit, the party distributing their medication to someone else could face serious criminal charges.

It is easy for people to become complacent about substance abuse issues when they think that the law allows them to do whatever they want with their medication. As such, learning about how people frequently violate Florida’s controlled substances laws may benefit those who regularly take prescription medication.