Prescription drugs aren't street drugs -- but the State of Alabama punishes illegal possession of prescription drugs just as harshly as it does possession of illegal drugs. Under state law, it is illegal to possess any controlled substance listed in the state's Schedules I through V, or to get such a substance by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. The prohibited drugs include many common prescription drugs that are subject to off-label use, such as:
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percodan and Percocet)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Opium, morphine, methadone and related drugs (such as Dilaudid)
- Amphetamines and related drugs (including Dexadrine and Desoxyn)
- Tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), nabilone and dronabilol (Marinol, Cesamet)
- Benzodiazepines (Valium, Librium, Xanax, Rophynol)
- Methylphenidates (Attention deficit disorder drugs such as Ritalin, Concerta and Attentin)
Serious Criminal Penalties
Even though these controlled prescription drugs have safe and legal uses, possessing them without a valid prescription is still a Class C felony in Alabama, with penalties of one to ten years in state prison and up to $15,000 in fines. If you don't have a current prescription in your own name to show officers, or if they believe your prescription is false, you will likely be charged with this crime. If you have a large amount of the drugs, you can be charged with illegal drug trafficking, which can carry three years to life in prison, depending on the amount. Because these are felonies, those convicted also face loss of the right to vote or own a firearm, loss of job opportunities or professional licenses and other consequences of a lifelong criminal record.
If you're facing a charge of illegal possession of prescription drugs, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Before you make a plea bargain or even answer any questions from police, you should call Birmingham criminal defense lawyer Steven Eversole for a free consultation. Steven Eversole defends clients throughout Alabama who are accused of illegal possession of these and other prescription drugs. He also defends pharmacists and retailers accused of selling them illegally, or of violating state registration and reporting requirements.
Prescription Drug Crime Defense
After taking a new case, the first thing Steven Eversole will do is look carefully through the case against his client. That's because law enforcement isn't always as careful as it should be when building a case -- or as careful as the law requires. Often, especially with high-profile drug cases, officers cut corners, make mistakes or violate defendants' civil rights. In many cases, these flaws and errors in the case against you allow a skilled criminal defense attorney to get your case dismissed or your charges reduced substantially. If that isn't possible with your case, or you believe it's best to plead guilty, he can negotiate a lighter, more appropriate sentence with prosecutors, helping you avoid the most severe effects of Alabama's harsh criminal penalties for drug crimes.
If it makes sense to go to trial in your case, Steven Eversole prepared to mount a thorough and aggressive defense in court, using expert testimony if necessary. Illegal possession cases often depend on "constructive possession," in which you're believed to own something because it was found in your home or your car. Trafficking and sales crimes require proof of knowledge and intent, both of which can be difficult. Remember, the other side must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction. Make them live up to their own standards -- hire criminal defense lawyer Steven Eversole to defend your legal rights.
If you or someone you care about faces illegal prescription drug possession charges in Alabama, call Steven Eversole today at 1-866-831-5292, or (205) 994-0616 in Birmingham, for a free evaluation of your case.