Have You Been Arrested for a Prescription Drug Crime in North Carolina?
The current opioid epidemic has made prescription medication one of the most abused drugs in the United States, causing over 15,000 deaths a year and approximately 1.2 million visits to the emergency room. These controlled substances are highly addictive and quite costly, which causes many people to go through great lengths to obtain such drugs or find alternative means. Many states, including North Carolina, have enacted harsh laws in regard to possession and trafficking of prescribed drugs as well as prescription drug fraud.
If you have been accused of a prescription drug crime in North Carolina, our Raleigh drug crime attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh can provide experienced legal counsel and help you obtain the most favorable results. Since our team consists of former prosecutors, we can develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf and anticipate how the prosecution approaches your case, giving you an advantage in the courtroom. When facing serious penalties for prescription drug crimes, you want knowledgeable and skilled legal representation like ours on your side.
Types of Prescription Drug Crimes & Penalties
If you are caught in possession of prescribed medication without a valid prescription, the penalties you face depend on the type of schedule the drug is classified under. Since there
The following are common types of prescription drugs of each schedule:
- Schedule II – Fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, amphetamine, Adderall, and opium
- Schedule III – Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids, ketamine, and testosterone
- Schedule IV – Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Tramadol, Soma, Ativan, and Darvocet
- Schedule V – Robitussin, Lyrica, Lomotil, Parepectolin, and Motofen
In North Carolina, illegal possession of Schedule II, III, and IV drugs is mostly considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 120 days and a discretionary fine. There are some exceptions when illegal possession of prescription medication is a Class I felony, which results in a maximum prison sentence of 12 months.
Possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a Schedule II prescription drug is a Class G felony, which results in a maximum prison sentence of 31 months. Manufacture of a Schedule II substance is a Class H felony, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 25 months.
Possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a Schedule III, IV, or V is a Class H felony. Manufacture of a Schedule III, IV, or V is a Class I felony.
Other types of prescription fraud crimes such as “doctor shopping”, forging prescriptions, and impersonating a physician are typically paired with other drug charges, such as possession or trafficking. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a prescription drug will lead to a DWI.
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