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Understanding prescription drug charges in Florida

Most physicians intend prescriptions to aid in either enhancing or maintaining a patient's condition. When law enforcement has suspicions of an individual misusing prescriptions, an officer may make an arrest, and a person may face prescription drug charges

In order to properly fight charges, individuals must understand what all they entail. There are a few key concepts for prescription drug charges in Florida.

The law

When people think of drug charges, they do not usually consider prescription drugs. However, this is a dangerous oversight. Prescriptions are still a type of drug, and the misuse of such drugs can cause serious impairment, injury, or even death. Therefore, the possession of certain medications without a valid medical prescription may lead to a prescription drug charge.

It is important to note that whether or not a person had a nonexpired medical prescription is a critical determinant for these particular drug charges.


Drugs, otherwise known as controlled substances, fall into five categories. Florida statute 893.03 details the parameters for the classifications and the different types of drugs that are in each one. The categories are classified by the acceptance level of the drugs for medical use. The classification also weighs upon the severity of the charges that individuals may face. If the drug has a serious illegal drug classification, such as heroine, it carries a higher penalty than a substance with a lower classification, like codeine.

Proof process

The state argues prescription drug charges. In any given case, the prosecutor must prove three specific assumptions:

  1. The defendant had physical possession of the drug
  2. The defendant knew he or she had the drug
  3. The substance is the specific drug

If the prosecution for the state is not able to prove any of these points, the judge may dismiss the case. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to find or create doubt in the case, which may also lead to a dismissal.

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