Many people falsely believe that as long as they took a medication as prescribed by their doctor, it is legal to operate a car after taking it. However, there are many prescribed medications that can negatively impact your ability to operate a vehicle. From painkillers and muscle relaxants to benzodiazepines like Xanax, there are many prescription medications that can earn you a driving under the influence charge in the state of Florida. Xanax, also called alprazolam, is an anti-anxiety medication that is increasingly causing DUI charges for residents of Florida.
In 1970, the United States unified the hundreds of drug laws that were on the books into a single, unifying law called the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This is the federal law that regulates drug use, cultivation, distribution and possession. What it did is it created five "schedules" -- which are basically classifications -- of drugs, and based on the schedule of a drug, the punishment involved in the crime would be more (higher schedule) or less (lower schedule) severe.
Ever since a war was declared on drugs, law enforcement agents, prosecutors and members of the community have been committed to punishing any person involved in illegal drug activity to the fullest extent of the law.
Despite the fact that state laws are starting to change considerably when it comes to offenses involving marijuana, possession, distribution and manufacture of the drug remain federal offenses. This means that in states like Florida where there are both state and federal laws that prohibit drug crimes involving marijuana, you could face state and/or federal charges if you are accused of a criminal offense.
Imagine you are approached by police and told that you are in possession of cocaine. They claim that they found the illicit drug in your car or your home, so they arrest you and you go to jail where you have to stay until you can pay your bail. In the meantime, lab tests are being conducted on the alleged drug and prosecutors tell you that if you are convicted, you could spend years in jail.
There is no doubt that people who are convicted of or plead guilty to criminal charges are facing some serious penalties, especially here in the U.S. Besides the fines, community service and sex offender registration requirements that can come with a criminal conviction, you are also likely looking at incarceration.
It's an all-too familiar experience for many people: They are driving down the road and suddenly they see the red and blue lights flashing in the rear view mirror. Whether you know why you're being pulled over or not, you can immediately experience fear, confusion and, in some cases, anger.
Due in no small part to our state's very tough marijuana possession laws, thousands of people face misdemeanor or felony-level drug charges in Florida every year. Many of those people aren't even residents, but are tourists that come to the state for spring break or to bask on our beaches.
Being placed on probation for a period of time in lieu of having to spend that time in jail or prison can come as a great relief to any person convicted of a criminal offense like drug possession. However, it is not something that a person should take lightly.