Michigan Prescription Drug Crime Attorneys
Prescription drugs are drugs that are legal to consume within the United States, as long as the person taking them has a legal prescription from a doctor. However, many people produce, sell, and consume these drugs without a prescription, which is against the law and a prescription drug crime. This can lead to severe penalties, including prison time and harsh fines.
If you or a loved one are facing possible criminal charges for a prescription drug crime, you need an excellent drug crime attorney on your side. Laws in Michigan related to prescription drug crime are severe, and many of them are designed to put people behind bars for decades. If you are under investigation for a prescription drug crime, or have been arrested and charged, contact us immediately. The sooner we are involved in your defense, the sooner we can start working to set the record straight.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drug
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are three classes of prescription drugs that are most commonly abused. These include:
- Opioids, also known as Narcotics, which are used to treat pain. Examples of commonly abused opioids today are morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. An example of this would include benzodiazepines, which are tranquilizers that are sometimes called “benzos.” They are present in Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin.
- Stimulants, like those used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy. This would include amphetamines and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) or methylphenidate (Ritalin).
Recreational Drug Abuse and Substance Abuse
While some people who take prescription drugs without a prescription only use them recreationally, there are others who take them on a regular basis due to addiction. Many prescription drugs, in particular narcotics for pain management and in some cases benzodiazepines, have a high rate of dependance.
This means that people who use them can develop addictions, even when the use is only for a short period of time and is sanctioned by a doctor. In a situation like that, because addiction is very hard to overcome and many people don’t get the support they need when struggling with substance abuse issues, people often resort to illegal ways of sustaining their addiction.
Prescription Drug Abuse in Michigan
There are a number of ways for a person to illegally acquire prescription drugs in Michigan. Some people buy the drugs on the street in the same way that one would buy heroin or cocaine. Others steal the medications from a friend or family member who has a legal prescription. There are some who obtain, usually through theft, an official doctor’s prescription pad. They then forge the doctor’s signature and write prescriptions for themselves for whatever drugs they want.
When an official prescription pad isn’t available, some people have been known to forge them, creating a counterfeit version that strongly resembles the official version. Another method for obtaining prescription drugs is what is known as “doctor shopping.” This is when someone visits a number of different doctors, complaining about a condition or problem that would need to be treated with a specific prescription. In this way a person can collect multiple prescriptions for the same drug in a very short period of time.
Prescription Form Crimes
Michigan law defines a “prescription form” as the authorized printed prescription pad or form that a physician uses to prescribe controlled substances and other legal drugs. To be valid, it must include the following:
- the physician’s name,
- the physician’s contact information,
- the physician’s signature,
- the drug enforcement registration number;
- the patient’s name and contact information;
- the amount of drugs prescribed; and
- the date of the prescription.
It is a crime in Michigan for a non-physician to manufacture or give out an official prescription form. Anyone convicted of this crime is guilty of a felony and could be sentenced to prison for up to 7 years or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
It is also a crime for a non-physician to manufacture or deliver a counterfeit, or fake, prescription form. A “counterfeit prescription form” is similar in appearance to a doctor’s official prescription form, but it was created, forged, transmitted, or altered without the physician’s permission.
Anyone convicted of this crime in Michigan could go to prison for up to 7 years, or pay fines of up to $5,000, or both. Even the simple act of possessing a counterfeit prescription form is illegal. Conviction of this crime subjects the defendant to prison for up to 4 years, or payment of a fine of up to $30,000, or both.
Prescription Drug Abuse Laws
Michigan has very harsh prescription drug abuse laws. There are different penalties based on which drug the person was accused of dealing with, and whether the charges are for use, possession, distribution, or manufacture of that drug.
Most drug-related crimes are felonies in Michigan, which means prison time and very serious fines. However, depending on the nature of the drug crime, the penalties can vary widely; between just a few years to multiple decades behind bars.
For example, Use tends to have less severe penalties than Sale or Manufacture. A classic example of this would be charges related to Oxycontin or Vicodin, where a charge for use is penalized by only one year in jail and a fine of $2,000. However, being charged with manufacture or distribution of either Vicodin or Oxycontin could land you behind bars from four years all the way up to a life sentence, depending on the quantity in question.
Important Facts About Prescription Drug Abuse
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 46 people die of prescription overdose every day in the United States. That’s more than 16,700 people every year. Prescription drug abuse can result in severe symptoms and side effects, and often results in death.
For example, overdoses of benzodiazepines will produce a number of side effects including drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, and lack of coordination. In more severe cases, it can also lead to coma and death.
An overdose of Opioids will produce symptoms that are different but equally dangerous and can also cause loss of life. Side effects can include erratic breathing, a bluish tint to the skin, limp body, unresponsiveness, vomiting, and an erratic pulse. In many cases this can lead to loss of consciousness and death.
Prescription Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one are facing the possibility of prescription drug crime charges, you are going to need help from experienced, hard working prescription drug crime attorneys. We have successfully defended people all over the state of Michigan who are facing prescription drug charges.
Contact us immediately if you or a loved one are facing charges related to prescription drug crime. You can’t afford to leave this to chance, or risk taking on an inexperienced attorney. The stakes are just too high. So don’t wait. Call us now at (866)-7NoJail (866-766-5245). Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, and your initial consultation is free.
TALK TO A PRESCRIPTION DRUG CRIME DEFENSE ATTORNEY
CALL (800) 576-6035
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