Prescription Drug Charges / Doctor Shopping
Doctors prescribe medicine to help us. But sometimes, some people become addicted to the very drugs that were designed to make them feel better. This addiction can lead to prescription drug abuse and trafficking.
Police in Florida have been cracking down on prescription drug abusers. Mandatory minimum sentences and a tough-on-crime approach to prescription drug crimes make being arrested for a prescription drug crime a frightening ordeal. Our Melbourne drug crime attorneys will walk you through every step of the process, listen to your story, and help you fight for your rights.
Melbourne Prescription Drug Defense Attorney
If you are in Eastern or Central Florida and you have been arrested for prescription drug crimes, you should contact The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy immediately. Our criminal defense lawyers represent clients in Brevard, Orange, Volusia, Seminole, Indian River and Osceola Counties. Our attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and ready to fight for you.
Common Questions about Prescription Drug Charges
When you or someone you love has been arrested, you probably have many questions. Some common questions include:
- What are commonly abused prescription drugs?
- Why do some people abuse prescription drugs?
- What is “Doctor Shopping”?
- What should I do if I have been arrested on prescription drug charges?
- Prescription Drug Crime Resources
Some commonly abused prescription drugs include:
- Hydrocodone: pain reliever and cough suppressant. This drug is never prescribed by itself, but with another drug(s). It comes in pill, syrup, and solution (clear liquid) form.
- Oxycontin: pain reliever. This drug may be prescribed on its own, or with acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. It comes in pill and solution form.
- Valium: anti-anxiety medication. May also be used for treating seizures, muscle pain, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It comes in pill and rectal gel form.
- Morphine: pain reliever. It comes in pill or liquid form. It is sometimes given intravenously through a shot or IV.
- Ativan: anti-anxiety medication. It comes in tablet and liquid form, to be taken by mouth.
- Vicodin: pain medication. Vicodin is a tablet containing both hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
- Percocet: pain medication. Percocet is a tablet containing both oxycodone and acetaminophen.
- Xanax: anti-anxiety and panic attack medication. It is available in both pill and liquid form.
These drugs are abused because they are highly addictive. This means that your body becomes accustomed to taking the drug and begins to require it, even after the pain for which it was originally prescribed is gone. If you stop taking these drugs suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Over time, your body may require more of the drug in order to have the desired effect.
Some people abuse prescription drugs for recreational purposes. More often, however, people become addicted to these drugs after taking them for a legitimate illness or injury. Many drugs – especially painkillers – are highly addictive, even if used as prescribed.
Sometimes people begin trafficking prescription drugs to support their drug habit. Other times, they may begin selling or giving drugs to friends or family because they genuinely believe the other person needs the drugs for a medical condition. Sometimes, people traffic prescription drugs without using them at all.
Our Criminal Defense Attorneys will listen to your side of the story and help you explore the cause of your behavior, and how that might affect the outcome of your case. You should be open and honest with your attorney when discussing why or how you were using prescription drugs.
“Doctor shopping” means visiting several doctors to get multiple prescriptions for drugs. Many addicts and drug traffickers begin doctor shopping in order to obtain more of a drug than a single doctor could legally or ethically prescribe.
In Florida, it is illegal for a patient not to disclose to his doctor that he already has a prescription for a drug from another doctor. Doctor shopping is a third-degree felony.
If you are charged with doctor shopping, you may also face charges of drug trafficking. Unfortunately, the “tough on crime” approach many prosecutors take, coupled with the fact that “drug trafficking” is not well-defined in the Florida Penal Code, means that you might be charged with trafficking even if you were obtaining drugs for your own personal use.
If you are arrested for a prescription drug crime, you might be confused, embarrassed, or frightened. You should know that our attorneys will be there with you every step of the way, explaining your options and fighting for your rights.
The first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not speak with the police or investigators without your attorney present. Do not speak to the media. If anyone attempts to question you, tell them that you want your lawyer present.
You should be completely open and honest with your attorney. Do not feel ashamed or afraid to tell them the specifics of your situation, such as when and why you started using prescription drugs, how or when you began abusing the drugs, and whether you have a previous criminal history. You should also talk about the circumstances of the investigation and your arrest, and how you were treated after the arrest.
All of these factors can affect whether or not the state will be able to meet its burden and convict you. If you are convicted, it may also be possible to have your sentence reduced based on your circumstances, although mandatory minimum sentences make it difficult. Your attorney can advise you of what kind of sentence you should expect, based on your unique circumstances.
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Information and resources about prescription drug abuse
Kidshealth.org – Information for children and teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
Florida Addiction Treatment Connection– Access this link for free web information guide that connects addicts and their families with the help they need to put their lives together.
Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy | Brevard County Prescription Drug Charges
Prescription drug abuse and trafficking are taken very seriously in Florida. You need an attorney who will fight for you every step of the way. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy can help you navigate the criminal justice system, answer your questions, and listen to you. If you are in Eastern or Central Florida, including Orange, Brevard, Volusia, Seminole, Indian River and Osceola Counties, and you have been arrested for a prescription drug crime, you should contact one of our criminal defense lawyers at (321) 253-3447 immediately.