This situation can arise where a wife gives her prescription medications to her husband or to a friend to hold for safekeeping.
In Florida the law of agency controls and the person who is in possession of someone else’s prescribed drugs and who has authority from the prescription holder can raise the “prescription defense.” This defense is recognized in Florida jurisprudence if the defendant claims he had permission from the prescription holder to possess the pills.
In Florida a person who possesses a small amount of hydrocodone (four grams) without a valid prescription can be charged with the very serious crime of trafficking in prescription drugs. This crime carries a mandatory minimum of three years in the Florida state prison and a $50,000.00 fine. A defendant can raise the prescription defense even when the facts and circumstances surrounding the party’s relationship do not demonstrate express authority but would show an implied authority from the prescription holder for the defendant to possess the pills. This implied authority may be inferred from the party’s relationship and past dealings.
A defendant who has his wife’s prescribed pain medications in his car may very well have a good prescription defense. This defense has its roots in the law of agency and Florida Statute 465.003(6) which allows a pharmacist to dispense prescription drugs to a patient’s agent.
Should you or a loved one be charged with unlawful possession or trafficking in prescription drugs when there was legitimate consent and authority to possess the drugs from the prescription holder, Mr. Dirmann will be delighted to help you with the “prescription defense.”