Monday, January 23, 2012

New Super Painkillers Could Lead to Increased Drug Charges and Penalties in Florida

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses how new forms of prescription painkillers may lead to more severe criminal penalties.


Four drug companies in the United States have recently created very powerful and addictive forms of the painkiller hydrocodone, and are making plans to put the substances on the market soon.  The so-called “super-painkillers” are causing individuals to fear the nation’s problem with prescription drug abuse will worsen if these substances are released.  The new painkillers contain pure hydrocodone, which is a main ingredient in many painkillers currently on the market, but none contain such a concentrated amount of hydrocodone.  Pharmaceutical companies are producing these new drugs because they believe the substances will generate large revenues.  Although these pharmaceutical companies have been in the process of developing the substances, and many are in the final testing stages, none have yet been approved for release by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Why This Matters To You:

Unlawful possession of the new super-painkillers, if placed on the market, can potentially lead to criminal charges for possession of a painkiller, prescription pill possession, prescription drug trafficking, controlled substance possession, or drug possession with intent to sell throughout the Tampa Bay, Florida area.  Any of these offenses involving super-painkillers may result in more serious penalties and consequences than possession of the currently-used combination hydrocodone and acetaminophen or ibuprofen substances, such as Vicodin and Lortab.

Pure hydrocodone, which is the sole ingredient in the new super-painkillers, is classified as a Schedule II substance in the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.  Under Florida law, an individual convicted of possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule II can receive a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.  Combination hydrocodone and acetaminophen or ibuprofen substances, such as Vicoprofen and Norco, are classified in Schedule III of the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.  A conviction for a Schedule III drug offense can result in a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.

What To Do Next:

If you have been charged with possession of prescription pills, controlled substance possession, drug possession with intent to sell or drug trafficking in Tampa, contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in St. Petersburg to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case.  Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss you case directly with an attorney, or fill out our Online Form to be contacted for a Free Initial Consultation.  The Morris Law Firm can help.  Attorney Melinda Morris has specific knowledge and experience in representing prescription pill offenders throughout Pinellas County the entire Tampa Bay, FL area (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Largo, Dunedin and Bradenton).