Attitudes and opinions about prescription drugs have varied over the years. The prevalence of prescription drug abuse has been highlighted by television programs which showcase the different stages of addiction. As a result, officials have taken a tougher stance against the unlawful possession of these substances. Many, however, still hold a mistaken belief that these drugs are not as serious as other illegal substances due to the fact that they can be prescribed by a doctor. The fact of the matter is that the unlawful use, possession, or sale of prescription pills can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. One who is convicted of such an offense may face incarceration, pay a fine, and will ultimately have a permanent criminal record. This may make it difficult to obtain employment, housing, and other professional licenses. If you or a loved one have been arrested then it is important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Omar Abdelghany is a Panama City attorney handling such matters. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Lawyer defending Panama City residents against prescription drug charges
Florida prohibits the possession of a controlled substance unless accompanied by a valid prescription. Prescription drugs, like other controlled substances, are divided into different “schedules” based on their potency and tendency for addiction. Pills that are highly addictive and have a lower medicinal value are placed in higher schedules. The more serious prescription drugs, such as morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and opiates are classified as Schedule II controlled substances. Since a Schedule II offense is classified as a third degree felony, penalties for crimes involving these drugs can include up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Depending on the amount of the pills involved, the possession of a Schedule II controlled substance could be charged as a trafficking offense. This differs from drugs that have less of a propensity for addiction, such as steroids (Schedule III) and Valium or Xanax (Schedule IV). Possessing these substances can lead to misdemeanor charges and up to one year in jail.
A misdemeanor charge will begin with the accused entering a plea of “not guilty.” A trial date will be set. The defense will be provided with arrest reports and other information which the prosecution is required to provide. Prescription pill cases are like other drug charges in that the substances may have been found through law enforcement’s violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. If such a violation occurred then it may be possible to have the pills excluded from evidence. Such an exclusion can lead to dismissal of the charges. If a dismissal is not obtained then it is the prosecution’s burden to prove that the accused knowingly possessed the pills and that they did not have a valid prescription. It is important to understand that you have options if you have been arrested for such an offense. It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Omar Abdelghany is a Panama City criminal defense attorney handling cases involving the illegal possession of prescription pills. He will use your initial consultation to hear your side of the story and to begin formulating a strategy for your defense. He will obtain all available evidence and conduct any necessary investigation. If he believes your rights were violated then he will file the necessary Motions with the Court and thoroughly examine the arresting officers at an evidentiary hearing. If it is not possible to obtain a dismissal then Omar will prepare your case for trial and protect your rights from beginning to end. Charges involving controlled substances can have a devastating impact on your future and it is crucial that you retain counsel immediately. Contact our office today for assistance.
Omar also serves 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.
Panama City lawyer providing the highest levels of service to Florida residents
Panama City defendants have enough to worry about once they have been charged with a crime. The last thing they should be worried about is if their attorney is going to take their case seriously. Omar will personally handle your case from beginning to end. He will promptly return all phone calls, text messages, and emails. Omar is a lawyer who will keep you updated on the status of your case and address any concerns you may have. This high level of service is provided to each and every client. If you or a loved one has been charged with a prescription drug related offense then contact our office today for assistance.