4 Facts You Did NOT Know About Prescription Drug Charges In Delaware
When you think about the most serious drug crimes in Delaware, your mind probably turns to unlawful activities involving marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth, or other illegal drugs. It is easy to overlook prescription drug offenses because they are closely associated with a respected profession like health care. However, the Delaware Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does apply to meds you can only get from a properly licensed doctor, and the charges are just as serious. Plus, the nature of a transaction involving prescription medications means a health care provider’s professional credentials could be at risk.
The stakes are high in any case involving controlled substances, but you will need skilled legal representation to protect your interests when the charges affect your livelihood. A Wilmington prescription drug offenses lawyer will aggressively fight for your rights, but you can also benefit from reviewing some facts and legal concepts.
- The starting off point is schedules. Instead of classifying them according to whether they are available by prescription, the Delaware CSA closely follows the system of schedules established by the federal government. There are five in total, and the most serious drug crimes are linked to controlled substances appearing on Schedule I. These are the drugs that have the highest potential for abuse and no currently acceptable use for medical purposes. At the other end, Schedule V controlled substances have a medical use and low potential for abuse.
Most prescription medications fall into Schedule II, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, opium, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, and morphine.
- Delaware imposes a Tier system for the quantity of a drug. Aside from classifying the controlled substance by severity, state law also assesses the amount. The greater the quantity, the higher the tier – and the most serious the charges. Lower amounts might be considered simple possession, but having large stash of morphine could be considered trafficking.
- Possession of prescription medications for personal use may be charged as a misdemeanor. When a drug is classified as a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) by Delaware law, you may not face felony charges. Therefore:
- For a Class A Misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,300.
- A Class B Misdemeanor is punishable by six months’ incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,150.
- Fraud charges often accompany prescription drug cases. When a person comes into prescription meds illegally, there is often fraud behind the scheme. Forging a signature, presenting a bogus prescription, or impersonating a physician could lead to fraud charges. Plus, a health care provider may be arrested for fraud by prescribing medication to someone who does not need it.
Trust a Delaware Prescription Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
It is helpful to understand a few facts about prescription drug cases, but a summary of the laws is not sufficient to mount a solid defense to the charges. Instead of putting your rights and professional interests at risk, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to set up a consultation. You can reach our Wilmington, DE office by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting us online.