It's easy to run afoul of Florida laws concerning prescription medications. Simply carrying a friend's prescription can lead to a felony drug charge if a police officer stops and searches you.
Having a drug conviction on your criminal record can be devastating in a world where background checks have become commonplace for employment. If you are a student, a drug conviction can make you ineligible for federal student loans. You could face lifelong consequences for doing something you didn't even know was illegal.
Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioid pain relievers such as Percocet, Vicodin, and OxyContin, as well as stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin. These drugs have become the focus of prosecutors. Any of the following acts can result in criminal charges in Florida:
- Carrying a friend's prescription drug
- Carrying your own prescription drug in a container (such as a pill box) that does not contain prescription information
- Carrying a prescription drug when the prescription is more than one year old
- Doctor shopping, such as going to multiple doctors to obtain a prescription
If you have been arrested for possessing a prescription drug without a prescription, seek prompt legal advice. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for A pretrial intervention program that can result in dismissal of the charges if you complete probation.
Avoiding a conviction does not mean you are in the clear. Many employers ask on job applications if you have ever been arrested for a crime. To answer "no," you must have your arrest record sealed or expunged.