Birmingham Prescription Drug Lawyer

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Prescription Drug Charges

Crimes involving prescription drugs are on the rise. Just because prescription drugs are not considered illegal does not mean a person will avoid prosecution should he or she commit an offense involving the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of a prescription drug.

Like all other drug crimes, prescription drug charges carry heavy penalties, including incarceration in state or federal prison, large fines, community service, probation or parole, and mandatory drug treatment or counseling.

If you have been charged for your involvement in a prescription drug crime, there is no reason you should face your charges alone. Alabama Criminal Lawyers can be of invaluable assistance in defending your case and helping you fight your charges throughout the entire criminal process.

Prescription Drug Laws

Under Alabama Law, it is illegal to possess a prescription medication without a valid prescription from a licensed doctor or physician. While unlawfully possessing any type of prescription drug can lead to criminal charges, we have found that certain prescriptions drugs are more prevalent in crimes than others, such as:

  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percodan, and Percocet
  • Valium, Xanax, Rophynol, Librium
  • Opium, Morphine, Methadone
  • Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and other drugs used to treat ADD or ADHD
  • Dexadrine, Desoxyn

Prescription Drug Crimes

In addition to unlawful possession of a prescription drug, we also defend people against other types of prescription drug crimes, such as:

  • Prescription fraud
  • Attempting to fill the same prescription at multiple pharmacies
  • Selling or distributing prescription drugs
  • Forging a doctor or physician’s signature
  • Altering a prescription
  • Using another person’s identity to obtain a prescription
  • Stealing another person’s prescription, whether for resale or personal use

Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs

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)

Illegal Possession 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 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 the 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.

Prescription Fraud Charges

The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that there are tens of billions of dollars lost each year due to health care fraud. Prescription drugs are extremely effective at managing pain. These drugs, however, can also be quite difficult to stop taking after a person has recovered from a medical condition. As a result of the highly addictive nature of prescription drugs, people sometimes try to do anything possible to obtain more prescription pain medication.

Often times, people who are charged with obtaining the prescription medication by fraud lack prior criminal records and do not understand the substantial amount of trouble that could result from such a charge. In these types of situations, many people’s minds are also distorted by the medication, which can make the situation even more complicated.

Fortunately, individuals who commit prescription fraud in the Shelby County area can depend on experienced criminal defense lawyers who can help fight against these charges. There is also some important information that individuals facing prescription fraud charges must understand, which include the following details.

How Prescription Fraud Charges Are Targeted

Some of the most common types of medications that result in prescription fraud charges are darvocet, dilaudid, lorcet, oxycontin, morphine, percoet, soma, valium, vicodin, and xanax.

Many prescription fraud cases originate with an arrest by the local police and involve an individual who tried to obtain prescription medication through the use of a fake prescription. In situations where it appears that an individual is connected to a larger network of prescription fraud users then it is likely that federal law enforcement will become involved.

Prescription drug users are not the only group against whom prescription drug charges are filed. These medical professionals are in the unique position of possessing an in-depth understanding of the prescription pill industry and various details about the inner workings of the business. Medical providers who assist users in obtaining fraudulent prescription medication can also face prescription fraud charges.

Types Of Prescription Fraud Charges

There are several common types of prescription fraud charges in the state of Alabama, which include the following:

  • Altering Prescription. Individuals who exercise this type of prescription fraud alter prescriptions to change the type or dose of medication that is prescribed.
  • Calling In Prescriptions. This method of prescription pill fraud involve impersonating a physician or medical professional and ordering a prescription at a local pharmacy.
  • Forging Prescriptions. These types of crimes involve physically forging prescription pill forms, which frequently require high copy printers.
  • Theft Of Prescription Pads. Individuals sometimes steal prescription pads from medical staff and later attempt to fill out these prescription pads in order to obtain medication.

Prescription Fraud Penalties

Based on the amount of prescription drugs with which an individual is found to possess, the resulting punishment can include a period of time in prison and/or a significant fine.

Prescription fraud charges sometimes include charges for federal charges for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Resulting federal conspiracy charges do not carry mandatory minimums, but federal courts tend to assign long prison sentences when the charges involve a substantial amount of prescription pills. In situations where a large number of pills were distributed, federal courts frequently assign prison sentences of ten years or longer in duration.

ADD and ADHA Drug Charges in Alabama

There are several types of drugs that are given to individuals who experience attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. One of the most common ways that these drugs are abused is to boost the concentration or memory of students on academic tests. Many types of individuals, however, are susceptible to using these drugs illegally. Some college students purchase these drugs online while other individuals manage to obtain a prescription through a doctor by falsely portraying the symptoms of ADHD or ADD.

Ritalin

Ritalin is the most common drug prescribed for individuals who have ADHD and ADD. Sometimes, Ritalin is also prescribed for individuals who suffer from narcolepsy. Acting as a central nervous system stimulant, Ritalin increases levels of dopamine. Due to the wide availability of Ritalin, there are many ways in which individuals can be charged for drug-related offenses

Adderall

Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, which works as a central nervous system stimulant. Intended to treat individuals with ADD and ADHD, Adderall is being used at an increasing rate by college students and other young adults to stay awake and remain focused. Alabama law enforcement makes a number of arrests each year of individuals who have either illegally possessed, purchased or sold Adderall.

Concerta

Addictive in nature, Concerta is one of the most common types of drugs prescribed to treat ADHD and ADD. There are many charges made each year against individuals who are found possessing Concerta without a prescription or using the medication outside of its intended use.

Side Effects

There are numerous significant side effects of these medications including depression, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, and rapid mood swings. There are many reports who have taken their own life after using these medications.

Penalties For ADD and ADHA Drugs in AL

Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. Schedule II is a category of drugs that have an accepted medical use but a high potential for abuse. Charges for the possession of a schedule II drug are considered to be a Class C felony. Individuals who are charged with a Class C felony face up to fifteen thousand dollars in fines and between one to ten years in prison.

There are more significant penalties faced by individuals who are charged with more serious offenses involving Schedule II drugs. Individuals who are repeat offenders of Schedule II drug violations also face more significant penalties. In addition to fines and prison sentences, individuals who are charged with the possession of ADD or ADHD drugs also face felony criminal records which can have a substantial impact on future employment and education.

Dexedrine and Desoxyn Charges

Dexedrine and Desoxyn are in the amphetamine family and used for the treatment of ADHD and ADD. These drugs are also used to treat narcolepsy and depression. Because Dexedrine and Desoxyn have a similar chemical composition to methamphetamines, many individuals attempt to use the drugs in a manner similar to methamphetamines. It is critical to contact a Birmingham drug crime defense attorney if you face criminal charges involving these or other substances.

Classification Under The Controlled Substances Act

Dexedrine and Desoxyn are classified as Schedule II drugs by the US Controlled Substance Act, While effective as medication, these drugs are very similar in nature to methamphetamines, which results in the high potential for abuse and severe psychological or physical addiction. Individuals who use methamphetamine and individuals who are prescribed the drug are two of the groups who are at risk for addiction.

Dexedrine and Desoxyn Penalties

Individuals who are charged with possessing Dexederine or Desoxyn without a prescription or in an illegal amount face significant penalties. A charge for possession of these drugs can result in a several-year prison sentence and a substantial fine. Some individuals who face a Dexedrine or Desoxyn possession charge if sentenced with a first-time offense in a non-violent nature might be able to participate in alternative sentences including a drug diversion program.

Individuals can also face the loss of professional licenses and driver’s license privileges due to possession charges of these drugs. Individuals might also be faced with a permanent criminal record that can affect one’s occupational and educational goals. In addition to charges related to the possession of Dexedrine and Desoxyn, abuse of these drugs can cause a variety of side effects including anxiety, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, nausea, rapid heartbeats, and in some cases can even be fatal.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers

If you or someone you care about faces illegal prescription drug possession charges in Alabama, contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.