Prescription drug offenses are just as serious as any other drug offense despite having been given more attention nationally and in the media. Prescription drugs have been a hot topic in the news and are a target regarding law enforcement in Fort Lauderdale. There has been a lot of attention on sober houses, treatment centers, and doctors that are over prescribing prescription, pills, and medication, and law enforcement.
Specifically, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Broward Sheriff’s Office are paying more attention to unlawful or illegal possession of prescription drugs. Therefore, it may be critical to speak with a skilled prescription drug lawyer to get a better understanding of the severity of your charge. An attorney can help you understand how Ft. Lauderdale courts treat prescription drug cases.
Process of Facing Substance-Related Offenses
These prescription drug cases typically begin with an encounter with the law enforcement officer. In Fort Lauderdale, the most common example would be a traffic stop so police officers would testify regarding when and how and why they came into contact with the particular individual and then as a result of that encounter, law enforcement usually would either through a consensual search or probable cause search, lead to an arrest for something else but would find unlawfully possessed prescription drugs.
How Courts Handle Prescription Drug Cases
How Ft. Lauderdale courts treat prescription drug cases often depends on the perception of the individual facing charges. Courts may take a therapeutic approach with an individual that has a substance abuse problem, they need a treatment, and they are relatively new to the criminal justice system. Meaning, they may offer treatment to that individual.
In Fort Lauderdale, there is a drug court set up to offer an individual treatment and counseling typically for a simple possession case. That program would last at least 12 months and that individual would be offered treatment and counseling and would be subjected to random drug testing while they are in the program. If the individual successfully completes the drug court program, the case could be dropped.
Treatment of Repeat Offenders
An individual that comes to the system multiple times, the courts might receive a more punitive approach. Somebody who is in the business or in the economics of the drug trade might not need a treatment. This is often the case for anyone accused of selling, trafficking or delivering the unlawfully possessed prescription medication in an effort to make a profit or make money.
In those types of cases, courts would treat those cases seriously and would seek to impose heavy punitive penalties against an individual who is caught dealing, selling or trafficking in prescription drugs. The courts in Fort Lauderdale treat prescription drug cases seriously unless it is a first offense and somebody can show that they are in need of treatment and amenable for treatment.
Types of Evidence Used in Prescription Drug Cases
The prescription drug trial process often begins with testimony from a law enforcement officer, the presentation of evidence, testimony from a chemist, and examples of similar cases. It could also be beneficial to have surveillance as evidence in the form of video or audio surveillance.
The strongest type of evidence in prescription drug cases is providing the lawful prescription itself. Knowing how Ft. Lauderdale courts treat prescription drug cases can be helpful when preparing the presentation of evidence during trial. The prosecutor may be required to prove what the substance is. This can mean that the drug itself would have to be tested by the crime lab and the chemist would have to testify as to what the substance actually was.
Role of Overprescription
Because an individual can lawfully possess those types of drugs with the prescription, it opens up that area for abuse by physicians who might be writing prescriptions, or doctors who might be overprescribing, doctor shopping, et cetera. There are perspective areas that law enforcement would look at as to whether or not the prescribers are abusing or are engaging in any type of abuse when dispensing or writing a prescription. Contact legal counsel to learn how Ft. Lauderdale courts treat prescription drug cases and what that means for a possible overprescription defense.