It is illegal to possess prescription drugs in Florida without a valid prescription. The type and quantity of the prescription drug can determine the charges and potential sentence in a Broward County drug crime case. For example, it is a third-degree felony to possess hydrocodone in a quantity less than 14 grams without a prescription. If you exceed that threshold amount, you can be charged with hydrocodone trafficking. In a Florida appellate decision, the defendant challenged his conviction and 3-year sentence for trafficking in hydrocodone. He challenged the lower court’s denial of his motions to suppress statements and argued that Florida Statute section 893.101 transformed into an unconstitutional strict liability statute section 893.135(1)(c)1, the law under which he was convicted.
The case arose when a deputy was on patrol in a residential area and saw someone lying in the yard of a home. Although it was raining, the person lay there without moving, with his truck door open and the keys left in the ignition with the radio on. Nobody was there and the home was dark. From his car, the deputy shone his light on the person, and the person got up and went towards the officer. The deputy got out of the car and came up to him. The deputy asked the man for identification.
The man went to the truck, and the deputy followed. The man gave his driver’s license to the deputy. The deputy saw he seemed drunk; he was slurring his speech and he was unsteady. The defendant explained the home belonged to his estranged wife’s sister and he thought his wife was there. After he showed his license and put his wallet back in the truck, he seemed to be trying to hide a clear plastic bag of white pills that was there on the seat with the wallet. The deputy asked him to step aside and grabbed the bag. He asked what was in the bag. The defendant told him it was Lortab and said, voluntarily, he’d bought the pills for $10 a pill, and had previously gone to jail for this.