Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / “Prescription” Drugs Without A Prescription Are Still Unlawful

“Prescription” Drugs Without A Prescription Are Still Unlawful


Drugs are classified into ‘schedules’ at both state and federal levels, categorized by their potential for addiction and their accepted medical usage (or lack thereof). This includes controlled substances that are sometimes prescribed for certain health conditions – but just because they have medical uses does not mean they are legal to possess without a prescription. If you are found with a controlled substance, but lack the prescription to have it, you may face serious penalties.

Potentially Serious Consequences

Due to its history as a cartel hotspot and later as a mecca for “pill mills,” Florida’s legal system takes drug charges extremely seriously. The law is quite specific, holding that it is illegal to possess a controlled substance unless one receives it from a medical professional or via prescription. This is true even if a person had a prescription for that controlled substance in the past – an old prescription does not grant immunity for unlawful possession after it has expired.

Unlawful possession of any controlled substance can carry a sentence of multiple years in prison, with a minimum of three in most cases. Florida is one of the states that still preserves mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, though the statutory maximum will differ depending on the nature of the substance and the amount involved – most drug possession cases are tried as felonies, which carry serious jail time.

Additional Charges Are Possible

In addition to the potential consequences that can come from mere possession, there are other related offenses that a person can be convicted of if they possess unauthorized prescription drugs. One of the most common is known as “doctor shopping” in Florida – namely, when a patient withholds information or otherwise convinces a medical professional to provide them with a prescription by fraud. This is usually tried as a third-degree felony in addition to the initial possession charge.

Another commonly seen offense of this type is being charged with distribution or trafficking in controlled substances by giving a leftover prescription to someone else. Even giving pills to someone else without any kind of financial repayment can be actionable, simply because the harm of people possessing drugs without the proper paperwork is seen as so potentially dangerous that the state is willing to prosecute.

Contact A West Palm Beach Prescription Drug Possession Attorney

Prescription drugs can help to alleviate all manner of medical conditions, but they must be obtained legally or having them will be more trouble than they are worth. If you have been charged with unauthorized possession of a prescription drug, a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help to make sure you get your day in court. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn