[vc_empty_space height=”13vw”]Opioid laws have changed rapidly in response to the recently rising opioid epidemic. With opioid deaths going up each day, lawmakers are being forced to craft new laws to curb the abuse of prescription opioids (as well as other illicit drugs). If you live in South Florida here are the opioid laws you need to know about.
Laws On Opioid Possession in South Florida
Under Florida Statutes Section 893.13, possession of most controlled substances, including opioid drugs without a prescription and heroin, may be charged as a felony. This charge assumes that the controlled substance has an illegal nature, the defendant has knowledge of the drug, and that the defendant has control of the drug (e.g. the drugs were on the defendant’s body or in a container held by the defendant).
Penalties for possession of such drugs can be charged to a third-degree felony and first-degree felony. For a third-degree felony, convicted individuals face up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Persons who have obtained opioid drugs with a valid prescription from a medical practitioner are not covered under this law. Evidence of a prescription and other medical scripts is the strongest defense against a charge.
Other defenses include lack of knowledge that the material was a controlled substance, entrapment, and unlawful search and seizure.
Laws On Opioid Prescription in South Florida
There are many other changes in South Florida Laws on opioid use and possession in recent months. These changes were made in response to the rising opioid crisis.
Early in 2016, states began passing legislation limiting opioid prescription drugs such as morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Early this year, Florida House has approved imposing prescription limits on the supply of prescription opioids.
If this bill becomes a law, an opioid prescription would be limited to three days for acute pain. A supply of seven days may be allowed in select medical cases that meet strict criteria. People found possessing opioid drugs after the 3-day limit will be subject to a possession charge.
The same bill requires physicians to consult Florida’s statewide database (the “Prescription Drug Monitoring Program”) before prescribing or dispensing controlled substances. This mechanism will reduce the number of patients “doctor shopping” in order to extend their opioid drug prescriptions.
Get an Experienced Defense Attorney In Florida
Have you been pulled over and found with opioid drugs without the original packaging and proof of prescription? Or are you otherwise unlawfully accused? Save yourselves months of worry and costs, and contact an experienced lawyer immediately.
When it comes to opioid cases, consulting with a criminal defense lawyer as early as possible is a necessity. Missteps and delays will inevitably complicate the case. Here at CP Law, we are experienced in defending the rights of our clients and meeting their legal needs. Our team of criminal defense attorneys is known for a robust and assertive brand of legal counseling while remaining cost-effective and timely.
If you live in South Florida and need a criminal defense attorney call (305) 204-5000 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.