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How do prescription drug crimes differ from other drug offenses?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense

When discussing drug laws in Florida, it is important to separate prescription drug crimes from other offenses.

Drug crimes involving prescription medications can be more complex and often have major legal implications. Recognizing the differences can help people comprehend Florida’s drug laws and avoid unintended legal issues.

Nature of the offense

Unlike street drugs, prescription drugs are legal when you have a valid prescription from a doctor. However, possessing, selling or using these medications without a prescription is not permissible. Activities like sharing prescription drugs or using them in excess of the prescribed amount fall under this category as well. Medications with potential for abuse include stimulants, sedatives and painkillers.

Consequences and legal implications

In Florida, the consequences of prescription drug crime charges can be severe. Sentences depend on the type and amount of drug involved. The severity of the consequences often reflects the potential for abuse and addiction. Defendants with prior criminal records may face additional penalties. Legal punishments for prescription drug crimes include fines, probation and possible imprisonment.

Illicit drug cases are often more straightforward than those involving prescription medicines. This is because the substances possessed or sold are clearly illegal.

Prevention and awareness

Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program aims to prevent doctor shopping and illegal sales. The PDMP lets pharmacists and prescribers access a patient’s prescription history. They can do this before prescribing or dispensing controlled substances. This visibility helps healthcare providers make informed decisions about prescribing medications. It ensures that patients get proper care while reducing the risk of drug misuse.

Prescription drug offenses differ significantly from other drug-related crimes in terms of legality, enforcement and potential penalties.

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