Prescription drugs are everywhere lately. You only have to read a newspaper or turn on the news to see that the abuse of prescription drugs has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. To combat this problem, Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have focused their attention on the sale and distribution of prescription medication in an effort to shut down the so-called “pill mills” and stop the illegal distribution. Oxycontin, Xanax, Methadone, Morphine, Valium, and Diazepam are just some of the numerous prescription drugs that are illegally abused.
Most drug crimes are considered to be related to illegal narcotics; prescription drugs, however, are regulated by the government, which means that a person may face a host of other criminal charges. Some other charges that could surface include possession of prescription drugs without lawful prescription, or for the distribution, manufacturing, sale or trafficking of the substance without the valid authority to do so. Prescription fraud is also another very serious matter related to prescription drug offenses, involving the multiple crimes of deception, forgery, and misrepresentation.
Prescription Drugs Criminal Penalties
The penalties that may be enforced for a prescription drugs offense will vary from state to state. Whether the crime is charged as a state or federal offense will affect the sentencing. The exact type of substance involved and the amount is also highly relevant to determining the outcome of the case. Some prescription drugs, for example, are classified as Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, which typically subject the offending individual to more severe punishment. Even those considered less addictive and dangerous by the government may carry substantial fines and even jail time, not to mention a criminal record which could impact your career and employment opportunities.
Possession of any controlled or prescription drugs other than marijuana is a felony offense. Sentences can range from 0-5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.00. With an increase in quantity, penalties could increase to up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine. Other factors may lead to enhanced sentencing, which means harsher penalties. If you have a prior conviction for a drug offense, were in possession of illegal prescription drugs or controlled substances in close proximity of a church, school, park, or business, or a minor was involved in the crime, you will face more severe punishment.
Prescription Drugs Lawyer in Nebraska
In defense of a prescription drugs criminal case, attorney Dan Stockmann looks for any weaknesses in the proof and any constitutional defenses based on the illegal searches and seizures, in addition to improperly-obtained confessions. He can also use the window of time between the arrest and the filing of formal charges to impact the prosecutor’s charging decision by bringing defenses and mitigating factors to light, which may include addiction issues, chronic pain issues, or whether the client may have lost his or her insurance and could not get the drugs in a legal manner. As someone who has had over 20 years of devoting himself solely to criminal justice and prescription drug cases a former prosecutor, Dan Stockmann is intimately aware of the process and he uses that kind of knowledge to his clients' advantage.