This is the next article in my series on the handling of prescription drug charges in Panama City, Florida. My last article discussed why prosecutors take prescription drug charges seriously. It is important to understand that such cases are aggressively pursued and that you need to retain a criminal defense attorney in order to protect your rights. In this article I will discuss the penalties and consequences which one faces for a conviction. If you or a loved one have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
The penalties for illegally possessing a prescription narcotic will depend on the type of drugs involved. Florida divides such substances into different “schedules,” which are based on their potential for abuse. More serious substances, such as Morphine and Oxycodone, are considered “schedule II” drugs. Illegally possessing a schedule II pill can result in third-degree felony charges. A conviction for such an offense can result in up to five years in state prison as well as financial fines. It is important to understand that these penalties may be in addition to those associated with charges for other conduct, such as the illegal possession of a firearm. Possessing pills without a valid prescription, therefore, can carry serious consequences.
There are other potential consequences which will flow from the possession of a controlled substance. These consequences include a permanent criminal record which can make it difficult to pass background checks, to obtain housing, or to obtain employment. Also, if the defendant is convicted of a felony then they will be prohibited from owning a firearm, under both state and federal law, for the rest of their life. Finally, it may be difficult for someone with a drug related offense to obtain or maintain a professional license. Many licensing bodies, obviously, are hesitant to allow for the practice of someone with proven addiction issues. These issues show that a conviction can have lifelong consequences which go beyond the time one will spend incarcerated.
If you or a loved one have been arrested with pills then it is important that you take steps to build an appropriate defense. The first of these steps is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. I am able to assist in such matters and I pride myself on providing a high level of service. Contact my office today to speak with a Panama City attorney. I also serve clients in the Bay County cities of Callaway, Lynn Haven, and Panama City Beach as well as Calhoun County residents in Blountstown, Holmes County residents in Bonifay, Gulf County residents in Port St. Joe, Okaloosa County residents in Destin, Jackson County residents in Marianna, and Washington County residents in Chipley. He is also licensed to practice in federal court before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.