The simple answer is yes.

Prescription painkillers such as Lortab and Oxycodone are miracle drugs. They provide pain management and comfort for patients recovering from surgery, suffering from cancer, or dealing with serious injuries. Unfortunately, these medications are also highly addictive. We are seeing an epidemic of cases involving people who started taking the medications for a legitimate reason, but then became addicted and continued taking them long after they were needed and long after their prescription had run out.

You would think that the law, and our society, would treat these people with compassion and rehabilitation. And in some cases, that is exactly what happens. But in other cases, being caught with just a few pills can lead to a mandatory prison sentence.

Possession of controlled substances without a prescription is a felony offense in Destin, Florida. It is a charge that the prosecutors aggressively pursue. And things only get worse if the amount possessed reaches a certain limit.

What is trafficking?

Most people think of drug trafficking as something only “drug dealers” do. But under Florida law, Trafficking really just means possessing a certain amount of a controlled substance. The key thing to understand when it comes to prescription drugs is that the trafficking limits are based on weight, and in order to determine the weight, the police are allowed to combine the weight of the actual controlled substance with the weight of the other ingredients in the medication.

There is a mandatory minimum prison sentence associated with all trafficking cases. A mandatory minimum sentence means that the Judge is bound to give you at least the minimum sentence if you are convicted. It takes away the Judge’s discretion and leads to a lot of people going to prison who don’t deserve to. Given the approach our local law enforcement takes when they arrest suspects on drug charges in Destin, it can be a very difficult thing to get around.

How much do I have to have on me to get charged with trafficking?

The minimum amount when it comes to opiate-based prescription drugs is four grams. If you are convicted of possessing between four and 14 grams, the Judge will be required to sentence you to a minimum of three years, and a maximum of 30 years, in prison.

The mandatory prison sentence is 15 years if the amount is over 14 grams.

Contact an Okaloosa County Drug Crimes Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a drug crime in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 for a free consultation.

Tim Flaherty
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney