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Prescription Drug Charges

Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide problem, and Florida, unfortunately, is an infamous epicenter. Though headway has been made, in the first half of 2012 over 1,000 people died with at least one prescription drug in their system as a contributing factor. This has caused an increase in law enforcement efforts against prescription drugs charges, including arrests.

If you have been arrested for a prescription drug charge that arose out of an underlying addiction or just plain misunderstanding, contacting an experienced drug defense attorney serving Alachua County as soon as possible after your arrest makes increase your chances at a favorable outcome in your Gainesville prescription drug case.

Gainesville Prescription Drug Defense Attorney

The experienced drug defense lawyers of Galigani Law Firm is committed to achieving the most favorable outcomes available for their prescription drug defense clients throughout Gainesville and the surrounding areas in Alachua County, Ocala in Marion County, and Lake City in Columbia County. Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar and has been evaluated for professionalism, tested for expertise.

Founded on the principles of advocacy, compassion, and communication, Galigani Law Firm is ready and willing to fight your Gainesville area prescription drug charges and attempt a favorable outcome for your case. To schedule your free consultation with Galigani Law Firm, call (352) 375-0812 today.


Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs in Florida

The epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the United States focuses on three main categories of drugs: opioids, which are prescribed for pain relief; central nervous system depressants such as sedatives or tranquilizers, which assist with anxiety and sleep problems; and stimulants, which are prescribed to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. As an epicenter for illegal prescription drug distribution, people in Florida have access to any number of these types of substances. Some of the prescription drugs abused illegally in Alachua County and elsewhere in Florida include:

  • Hydrocodone – Vicodin, Lortab
  • Alprazolam – Xanax
  • Diazepam – Valium
  • Lorazepam – Ativan
  • Amphetamine – Adderall
  • Methylphenidate – Ritalin
  • Carisoprodol – Soma

The number one abused drug in Florida, however, is oxycodone, also known as OxyContin. Illegal actions involving oxycodone in recent years became so prevalent that Florida became known as the Oxy Express. This has led to a subsequent, and perhaps sometimes overzealous, crackdown on prescription drug charges throughout Florida, including Alachua County and Gainesville.

If you have been arrested on any prescription drug charge, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced drug charge defense attorney serving Alachua County as soon as possible, and begin protecting your rights and building your defense against the formidable opponent that is the anti-prescription drug campaign immediately.


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Alachua County Prescription Drug Charges and Penalties

Florida law involving controlled substances that are prescription drugs is convoluted, extensive, and complicated. When seeking legal counsel for your Alachua County prescription drug charge, it is important to find a Gainesville criminal defense attorney who understands the law and how it works in your particular prescription drug case. Due to the extensive drug law, there are many offenses involving prescription drugs with many different penalties. Some of the more common prescription drug charges facing Florida individuals today include the following:

  • Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs – According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6)(a), it is unlawful for any person to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless that substance was lawfully obtained by prescription from an authorized party such as a doctor. This offense is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
    • It is important to note that this offense is only a third-degree felony up to a specific amount for each drug until it turns into a drug trafficking offense. For instance, possession of opiates like Oxycodone without a prescription in excess of 4 grams is a trafficking offense. Drug trafficking penalties vary based on which prescription drug and what amount is in possession. 
  • Illegal Possession of a Prescription Form – Fla. Stat. § 893.13(7)(a) makes it illegal to possess a prescription form or pad that has not been properly and legally completed and signed by the practitioner whose name is on it. A first offense of illegal possession of a prescription pad is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Subsequent offenses are third-degree felonies
  • Obtaining Prescription by Fraud – A person commits a third-degree felony offense under Fla. Stat. § 893.13(7)(a)9 if he or she acquires, obtains, or attempts to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or subterfuge. A conviction for prescription fraud under this statute is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine 
  • Doctor Shopping – There are two Florida statutes that address doctor shopping: Fla. Stat. § 893.13(7)(a)8 and Fla. Stat. § 893.13(7)(a)13. The first one states that it is unlawful to seek to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance while withholding the information that you have received such a substance or prescription from another practitioner within 30 days.

The second holds that is an offense for a person to obtain or attempt to obtain a prescription for or actual controlled substance in Schedules II, III, or IV that is not medically necessary or that is in an amount more than medically necessary from a practitioner through misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or concealment of material fact – which includes an existing prescription for the substance issued within 30 days of this request.


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Galigani Law Firm | Defense Lawyer for Gainesville Prescription Drug Charges

If you are facing a drug charge involving prescription drugs in Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Gilchrist County, Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, or Union County, put the experience, knowledge, and specialization of a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial lawyer behind your case. Florida prescription drug law can be complicated, and Galigani Law Firm is up to the challenge to make it work for you. To schedule your free case consultation concerning your Gainesville prescription drug charges, call (352) 375-0812 today.