In the State of Florida, alprazolam, the genetic name for the drug commonly known on the market as Xanax, is a Schedule IV substance. A Schedule IV substance is defined as, "[having] a low potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule III (such as lysergic acid, or LSD) and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States..."
Alprazolam (Xanax): Possession, Sale, and Trafficking
Posted By Eric Matheny
Alprazolam, or Xanax, is commonly prescribed by doctors as an anti-anxiety drug. That is why users report feeling calm or euphoric.
However, Xanax is only legal if you have a valid prescription. If not, you can be arrested and charged with any number of felonies, depending on how much of the drug is in your possession.
In prior posts, I discussed oxycodone at length, as well as the very nature of trafficking in prescription drugs and how that crime is treated in Miami-Dade and Broward. As you may know, trafficking in the State of Florida is based on the weight of the drug. You do not have to be physically transporting the drug from Point A to Point B in order to be arrested and charged with trafficking. You can be charged with trafficking if all of the pills are located within your home.
The lowest-level felony charge regarding Xanax is possession. Possession, like trafficking, is based on weight. Additionally, the arresting officer may look to see how the substance is packaged. If it is individually-packaged, the officer may suspect you of attempting to sell Xanax. If the pills are in a bottle or in your pocket, it is likely personal use. Typically, the threshold for possession is 4 grams, or just a few pills.
If you are arrested and charged with possession of Xanax, contact a criminal attorney who handles prescription drug possession, namely possession of Xanax. There are many options available:
1) Fight the case: What were the circumstances surrounding the arrest? How did the officer find the substance? Do you have a valid prescription but you didn't have it on your person at the time of the arrest? These are all excellent questions to discuss at length with your criminal defense attorney.
2) Resolutions: Are you a first-time offender? If so, you may be eligible for Drug Court. If you were arrested in Miami or Broward, contact me, a criminal lawyer who represents clients charged with Xanax possession. If you successfully complete Drug Court, the State of Florida will dismiss the charge and you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged.
Another resolution, should you not want to go through the Drug Court program, would be a withhold of adjudication (not a conviction) and the payment of court costs. This option may only be available for those charged with possession, not trafficking or sale. If you receive a withhold, you may be eligible for have your record sealed. This is a service I make available to all of my clients.
If you are charged with sale or trafficking, your case is considerably more complex. Trafficking, which may range from 4 -14 grams, carries mandatory minimum prison sentences and mandatory fines. Mandatory sentences may range from 3 years at the bottom, to 25 years on the high end, depending on the weight of the drug allegedly in your possession.
Both the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and the Broward State Attorney's Office take trafficking cases very seriously. Both offices have specialized trafficking units that focus solely on these types of cases. With the surge in prescription drug abuse, trafficking cases that deal with oxycodone (OxyContin), alprazolam (Xanax), and other prescription drugs are commonly prosecuted. Not only that, but the Assistant State Attorneys handling these cases are skilled and dedicated to seeing you serve mandatory prison time.
You need a criminal defense attorney who is equally skilled and equally determined to seeing you walk away from these charges. I have represented clients charged with offenses such as oxycodone trafficking, cocaine trafficking, methamphetamine trafficking, and more. For a free consultation, contact my office.