A Prescription Drug Lawyer Can Fight Your Charges
Despite the fact that most people take prescription medications responsibly, an estimated 18 million have misused them at least once. And as the number of prescriptions for stimulants and sedatives increases each year, so does the ease of access and potential for abuse.
Recently, federal law enforcement agencies have stepped up their investigations into the sale and distribution of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, this means those who suffer from chronic pain and require regular pain treatment, legally acquiring prescription medication, may be at risk of false accusations. Likewise, doctors who specialize in pain management practices might find themselves under the microscope unfairly.
It is universally unlawful for anyone to possess prescription drugs without a valid prescription or above the prescribed amount, in any form, brand, category, or concentration. Having illegal prescription drugs may result in arrest, prosecution, incarceration, a permanent criminal record, required rehabilitations, driver’s license suspension, or excessive fines.
If you or someone you know is accused of misuse of prescription drugs, a prescription drug lawyer from the Zoukis Consulting Group can assist you in understanding your rights and defending yourself fairly.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation.
How Are Prescription Drugs Classified?
It’s essential to understand how prescription drugs are designated and the associated guidelines with each type of substance to avoid legal implications of prescription drug abuse or fraud:
“The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use, abuse, or dependency potential.”
- Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
- Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.
- Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.
- Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.
- Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics.
The federal laws around prescription refills can be difficult to interpret, and some individuals charged with prescription drug abuse are unaware of the specific guidelines. For example, drugs like OxyContin®, Percocet®, and other similar drugs cannot be refilled. It’s also unlawful to have a prescription for multiple Schedule II drugs unless specific parameters are met and discussed with a physician.
Refill requirements for Schedule III, IV, and V substances have their own set of rules and, in some cases, can be refilled when authorized by the prescribing physician. Ask your physician to clarify the rules and keep them handy to avoid finding yourself in legal trouble due to unauthorized refills.
What Are The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs?
Some of the most common illegally distributed prescription drugs include:
Many prescription drug charges begin with an arrest by local police. A person may be trying to “doctor shop” and obtain a legal prescription from more than one doctor at a time or trying to pass off a fake prescription at a pharmacy.
If you’ve legally obtained a prescription for pain medication or a controlled substance, it’s critical to maintain good records of your doctor’s visits, orders, and prescriptions. Never share your prescription with anyone, even if their symptoms are similar to yours or if they have had their own prescription in the past.
Legal Penalties For Prescription Drug Abuse
According to prescription drug laws, federal law enforcement may get involved if an investigation leads local authorities to believe that you are distributing high quantities of pain medication. Some circumstances may still allow for filing significant charges even with a small amount of trafficked drugs.
Individuals and groups involved in prescription drug fraud are at risk of criminal charges, either at the state court level or federal court. In addition, criminal charges against physicians who distribute prescription drugs outside their regular practice or without a verified medical need have increased significantly in the global opioid epidemic.
Charges and legal consequences vary based on the specific type of prescription drug and geographic location, but general prescription drug trafficking is considered a first-degree felony.
Hire A Prescription Drug Attorney for Help Today
Even if local officials charge you with prescription medication abuse, our prescription drug lawyers can help prove that you legally used the medication.
Prescription medication laws allow private, federal criminal defense attorneys to represent defendants accused of prescription medication abuse. Our legal experts can help you prove that your dosage was legitimate even if you have been charged with prescription medication abuse.
If you are a doctor and you’re being held responsible for a patient’s drug abuse, overdose, or death, steep mandatory minimum sentences in federal prison are possible. A prescription drug attorney can provide legal insight and advice on your specific case and situation.
Call the Zoukis Consulting Group now so we can start defending you against your charges.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Feb 15, 2022 at 12:23 pm