Call Us | 318-377-1555
Fill Out The Form Below for a Free Consultation
Louisiana Prescription Drug Crimes and Charges Attorney
Prescription Drug Criminal Attorney in Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, & Ruston, LA
Most people think about drug offenses as a classification of crimes that only pertain to illegal substances. However, in the United States, some of the most prevalent drug crimes and charges are related to the use and abuse of controlled substances, including prescription drugs.
In recent years, a wide variety of drugs that were once prescribed to help people cope with pain or manage anxiety have come to light as being extremely addictive and dangerous to one’s health if they’re misused. People of all ages and all walks of life have been known to use prescription drugs outside of the instructions on the prescription label and have experienced great bodily harm or died from an overdose as a result.
The U.S. is a Hotspot for Prescription Drug Abuse
To get an idea of just how serious the prescription drug problem in the United States is, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 130 people die from overdoses each day. The country spends nearly $80 billion a year on treatments, sentencing and legal processes related to prescription drug crimes.
Statistics aside, individuals struggling with prescription drug addiction often face extreme difficulties in every aspect of their life including both their personal affairs and work. And because many individuals with an addiction will go to great lengths to obtain the prescription drugs their bodies crave, they often run into trouble with the law and face criminal charges.
If you or a family member is suffering from an addiction to prescription drugs and facing trouble with the law, the first and best thing you can do to help your case is to obtain a trusted drug defense lawyer. By doing so, you’ll have the assistance you need to build your best defense.
Prescription Drug & Controlled Substance Classifications in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana and all across the United States, controlled substances are placed under one of five schedules according to The Controlled Substances Act. For a substance such as a prescription drug to be placed on the controlled substance list, there needs to be evidence that it poses a risk to public health, can cause physiological or psychological harm, or has a history or current pattern of abuse – among other reasons.
Below is an outline of the five schedules of controlled substances in the state of Louisiana.
Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse but generally, have no accepted medical uses and include drugs such as Marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, Heroin, Meth, and Peyote.
Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse, and accepted medical uses and include prescriptions such as Vicodin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Dilaudid, Demerol, Fentanyl, Oxycontin, Percocet, Morphine, Opium, Codeine, and Methadone.
Schedule III substances have medium potential for abuse and include prescriptions such as Tylenol with Codeine, Ketamine, anabolic steroids, Testosterone, Benzphetamine, Amobarbital, and Nalorphine.
Schedule IV substances have a limited potential for abuse and include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol, and Chloral Hydrate.
Schedule V substances have the least potential for abuse and include Robitussin AC or Phenergan with Codeine, Lyrica and many other over-the-counter medicines.
You can find a list of all controlled substances as outlined by the DEA here.
Prescription Drug Crimes & Charges
The penalties for prescription drug charges are highly dependent on the schedule classification of the substance. Typically, the higher the classification (Schedule I being the highest) the more significant the penalty.
According to federal laws, scheduled drugs that are also prescriptions are only permissible to possess in certain quantities as outlined by a valid prescription. All other possession, distribution, or manufacturing of those substances is a punishable crime. Charges for such crimes can be as serious as a felony depending on the details of the case including the type of substance and the amount involved. Most charges range from 0-5 years in jail with the possibility of additional fines, educational courses, community service, and probation.
Louisiana Prescription Drug Fraud
In addition to possession of controlled substances, many methods by which prescription drugs can be obtained are also punishable by law. The most common chargeable methods for acquiring prescription drugs include:
- Doctor Shopping
- Prescription Modification
- Prescription Theft
The most common of these methods is doctor shopping. Doctor shopping is arranging appointments with multiple doctors to present information regarding an injury or illness with the intent of obtaining multiple prescriptions. People will doctor shop for many reasons, including feeding their own addiction and obtaining drugs to sell/distribute.
Doctor shopping and all other forms of drug fraud, no matter the reason, are all serious offenses. For people involved or charged with prescription drug fraud, hiring a trusted lawyer to defend them is their best chance at a quality defense and a reduced sentence.
Experienced Prescription Drug Crime Lawyers in Louisiana
If you have been charged with a prescription drug crime and live in Louisiana, you’re lucky to have a firm of attorneys with experience defending prescription drug charges located here. The attorneys at Eric Johnson Law Firm have been practicing since 1993 and pride themselves on working hard to defend their clients’ cases — whatever it takes. And because they’re recognized by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, you can feel confident to trust them with your case too.
To get started on your prescription drug crime case and receive your free consultation, call The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm at 318-377-1555 or complete our online contact form.