The State of Florida has been a jumping off point for illegal drugs for many decades as shipments of controlled substances find their way north from Central and South America to Miami and other ports in Florida. In recent years, the State of Florida, along with the rest of the country, has been battling the abuse of prescription drugs as well. Many people are under the mistaken belief that if they have a prescription for a controlled substance they cannot be charged with trafficking. On the contrary, you can be charged and convicted of trafficking a controlled substance even if you have a prescription for the drugs.
When most people think of “drugs” they think of substances such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. While these certainly fit the legal definition of “controlled substances”, and are therefore illegal in the United States, there are a number of “controlled substances” that are legal when prescribed by a doctor. Narcotic pain relievers, for example, are legal to possess when you have a valid prescription from a physician. Trafficking, however, is illegal in all cases. The problem is that people often do not know what “trafficking” is defined as in Florida.
Oxycodone is a popular pain reliever that is prescribed legally for patients with severe and/or chronic pain. Florida Statute 893.135(1)(c) addresses trafficking of oxycodone and defines trafficking as:
- Knowingly possessing, selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or transporting;
- 4 grams or more of any mixture containing Oxycodone.
The average pill prescribed by a physician contains more than four grams of Oxycodone, making it a serious felony to “traffick” even a single pill. Notice that the statute uses the word “deliver” along with sell, purchase, and transport. Obviously, if you have a prescription you cannot be convicted of possession; however, simply giving one of your pills to a friend or selling one to someone could land you in jail facing felony charges for trafficking in Florida. The statutes for other prescription drugs are similar in Florida.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Florida you may be facing a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to begin working on your defense.