Possessing a prescription drug without a valid prescription is considered possession of a controlled substance in the State of Florida. Possession of a small amount of a controlled substance is typically a third-degree felony. If you possess over a designated amount, you could be charged with trafficking in prescription drugs. Trafficking in prescription drugs carries mandatory prison time.
Controlled substances are defined by Florida Statute Chapter 893.03. The list is very inclusive and is not necessarily limited to prescription medication. The list includes anabolic steroids, MDMA (ecstasy), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and several others.
However, prescriptions include substances such as Oxycodone (OxyContin), alprazolam (Xanax), and hydrocodone (Vicodin). The Florida Legislature has deemed these prescription drugs to be harmful and addictive when not used under the supervision of a doctor.
Penalties can range from Drug Court to probation to prison time, depending on the accused's prior record. But like all possession-level offenses, the manner in which the drugs were found by the police is always subject to investigation. Bad traffic stops and illegal searches can result in drug possession charges being dropped.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with drug possession in Miami-Dade and Broward.