The federal government is cracking down on the production of prescription opioids to help stop addiction, trafficking and illegal possession. However, if law enforcement arrested you for illegal possession of a drug like Xanax or oxycodone, the immediate questions from a legal point of view concern the circumstances and procedures. For example, did the police violate your rights?
In August 2018, the Department of Justice joined with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to propose lowering the manufacturing quotas for frequently misused opioids. Slated to occur in 2019, the proposal foresees an average reduction of 10 percent over 2018 production levels. This would make the third year in a row for reductions geared toward stopping drug trafficking and preventing addiction.
The ongoing drug threat
By controlling the manufacture of opioids, the government hopes to help the DEA put a stop to illegal drug possession and trafficking. Addiction is an ongoing problem in Florida, as it is in many other states. The issue is not only related to prescription opioids; synthetic opioids like fentanyl are just as lethal. According to 2016 data gathered by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, synthetic opioids had a role in 30,000 overdosing deaths from that year.
Perhaps police found prescription drugs like Xanax or oxycodone in your possession but you could not produce a valid prescription when requested by a law enforcement officer. Possession of drugs like these, which fall into the category of controlled substances, is just as serious a matter as if they were heroin or cocaine. A conviction constitutes a third-degree felony, and among the penalties is up to five years behind bars.
Investigating the arrest
If you are facing prosecution for the possession of illegal drugs, you should not wait to find out what your legal options are. A strong defense will begin with an examination of your case beginning with the arrest. Was there probable cause? Were police procedures handled properly? Were your rights violated? Questions like these produce answers that form the basis for your defense and lead the way to the best outcome possible.