Federal Drug Penalties

This shifting may become necessary as other crimes become more important than simple drug charges. Because these penalties are at the federal level, it takes time to process and change laws based on these proposed acts.

The fact that the prisons across the country are full of non-violent lawbreakers dealing in or with drugs has prompted many lawyers and political advocates to lobby those in power with changes to provide assistance to these individuals. There are additional factors that should be taken into account as well, such as the type of crime and how it may or may not contribute to further criminal acts. The first offender stipulation may also reduce penalties with the assistance of legal counsel. However, differing crimes may provide for reduced sentences and punishments if these proposed acts become laws. With the retrograde stipulation, those already in prison or jail from the point the acts were proposed may be let out earlier than expected.

Holder Amendment

Some amendments have provided for harsher penalties based on who did what in the crimes charged against multiple defending parties. The Holder Amendment was created for when someone is a courier of illicit substances, but he or she did not participate in any violent acts. Other stipulations to take into account are whether the courier carried a certain amount of drugs, weapons or other items that may incriminate him or her more. Because of these changes, the mandatory sentencing of five to ten years behind bars has been eliminated. The federal district judge that oversees these cases may, at his or her discretion, issue a probationary term of time as an alternate punishment. This provides for many allowances when the person has not caused any injury or damage during his or her actions when involving drugs.

Sweeping Two Point Reduction

November of 2014 saw the reduction of the guideline calculations for most of the more severe drug violations by the Federal United States Sentencing Commission. Two levels of these guidelines were reduced regarding these crimes when a person has been convicted. This means that when someone has been convicted with shipping or moving some types of drugs, he or she may see a reduction in the sentences issued for the charges. This may also show in a lesser amount of years by as many as three or more from the mandatory sentencing. This amendment has provided these allowances during convictions with only drug charges. If another crime has been committed, the penalties may be just as harsh as they were before the amendment was applied.

Take Prescription Drugs without a Prescription

Other persons acquire these same drugs illegally from someone selling them even when that person should be taking them per his or her doctor. Many of these instances may cause medical issues due to incorrect dosage, body or chemistry difficulties or other similar problems. The person that gave or sold these drugs may be responsible legally for these complications.

While a person may face legal issues when possessing drugs without a prescription, there are others that obtain these same drugs through crimes involving some type of fraud. These may be through online purchases, the use of someone else’s identity or other situations. While many of these acts of lawbreaking result in misdemeanor charges, a person may face a felony charge depending upon the factors of the case. Though some consequences of these actions may be penalties through fines, jail or prison terms and other similar punishments, the possibility of making plenty of money through these drugs keeps these individuals in business.

Types of Drug Fraud Crimes

Among the most popular of drug crimes, there are two types of fraud crime categories that head the entirety of these unlawful acts. Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance and Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud have been defined for better explanations. While these crimes are separate and have different explanations, they have been charged together in certain circumstances. Although these particular stated laws are from Florida, many other states have similar laws with very close wording that provide the same stipulations involving illegal substances.

Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance is the intentional delivering, reproducing or giving counterfeit-resistant drug blanks for prescription drugs under the Department of Health’s ruling on this specific crime. For charges of this crime, the person perpetrating these acts usually uses the prescription pad of a healthcare professional and a signature forged from the same doctor.

Elements of Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance and Similar Regulations

There are three elements that must be proven by the state these crimes are committed in to provide for a conviction based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The alleged perpetrator must have sold, distributed, created, uttered or had possession of counterfeit prescription blanks for prescription drugs. These blanks must also be in the form and content as provided by the Department of Health specific to the state. Additionally, the person must have had the intention to cheat, trick, harm or enable someone to purchase these drugs through a fraudulent manner as explained by state laws.

Penalties for Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance

This category of crimes often carries a third-degree felony charge with potential for imprisonment of up to five years and up to $5,000 in fines. First offenses may carry this or lesser consequences, but those that commit these acts and are convicted multiple times may have the charges elevated to more serious felony charges.

The question of legality has risen at different points in time

Before the laws created regulations for these machines, many individuals have used them to ensure the avoidance of tickets and law enforcement for a variety of reasons. Some of these detectors may have monitors in place to record speeds of the vehicle they are installed in or may provide information on where and how far a police squad car is. Some incidents have resulted in these machines being used against the drivers as evidence.

For those situations when the driver has committed a traffic violation, radar detectors may be used as evidence in a court case. When laws and regulations are unknown, it is essential to obtain a lawyer for all relevant information. Some states only allow specific devices for use in the vehicle, and others do not allow any of these detectors at all. It is vital to know what law is present in the state the driver is traveling through. When the legal devices are used in those states that allow them, they often assist in avoiding traffic tickets and citations. It is important to ensure only the right one is installed to prevent legal entanglements.

Some Radar Detectors are Legal

The most important point in having a radar detector installed is when the driver has been stopped by law enforcement. If the device is legal, then there should be no issues after all questions have been answered. However, if the machine is not legal, the officer may use this detector as a means of arrest or involve further legal entanglement. The Light Detection and Ranging radar detector or LIDAR is usually the only device permitted by law. Some states do not allow these in commercial or big rig trucks and vehicles with weight limitations of over 10,000 pounds for these specific transporting machines.

For some states, these detectors are legal and permitted even by law enforcement. There is speculation about the ability to speed with the notice these machines allow when someone is driving, but if the drivers are safe even when speeding they usually are not reported even by other drivers. Some arguments are for these devices due to the inaccurate reads some police radars give when monitoring traffic. Despite the pro and con for and against these radars, they are permitted in passenger vehicles in some states provided that only the legally purchased and allowed devices are installed.

Why are Some Police Radars Inaccurate?

When defending against a ticket or traffic violation due to speeding, it has been found that some of the radars used by law enforcement have inaccurate reads depending upon certain factors. Some of these common reasons have been discovered. Nearby signals in the air have caused interference with these radars and they cause inaccurate numbers to appear to police. When the laser devices are not properly angled and pointed, a faulty read often appears. For some law enforcement officers, training may have been inadequate or rushed with may lead to issues with a moving target. When the devices are not maintained properly, they may break down just like any other electronic object.

Other Avoidance Techniques against Police May be Illegal

Jammers against laser devices and radars inside a consumer automobile have been listed as illegal in most states. These machines interfere with the signal and are not permitted by law. When they are used, severe and harsh penalties are often the outcome. Some versions of coatings upon the vehicle have been listed as illegal as they cause a type of stealth that allows avoidance from laser systems. The coating used often alters the accuracy of police devices.

A Pregnant Person Legally

However, in some instances, when a woman finds out she is pregnant, she may attempt to eliminate an addiction problem from her life. The life growing inside her body often becomes more important than the next fix. However, the options available to remove this obstacle are often few. Additional assistance may become a necessary part of these women’s lives.

Changing a person’s life is not an easy thing. When few options are available, a pregnant woman may find possibilities blocked. After determining to rid addiction to the drug she is compelled to consume, a woman awaiting a child may seek governmental help. There are clinics available in major cities as well as some in smaller areas. By seeking these out, the person may find the way to eliminate drugs from her life. Unfortunately, the option to take methadone for assistance with addiction issues may become a legal matter. Because the substance of methadone is still considered a drug with possible withdrawal symptoms in newborn children, the issue of consuming this substance may become a legal battle for the mother or the clinic that provides it.

Seeking Sobriety

When a pregnant woman faces the future with a child on the way, she may find limited opportunities in improving her life. Various healthcare facilities have assistance programs for these individuals due to the lack of necessary help provided to pregnant females. Many physicians recommend a treatment of methadone for recovery from drugs for these persons when they are able to see a doctor.

Sobriety from drugs is the recommended process going ahead for a woman expecting a child due to the presence of harmful chemicals from drugs in the system when an expecting mother keeps taking these illicit substances. These drugs pose a great risk to the unborn child along with potential complications. Unfortunately, a methadone treatment is often the only choice these individuals have available when attempting to remove the addiction to a drug they’ve been consuming. Though the newborn may have withdrawal from the methadone administered, this use often poses a far less danger than if other narcotics have been exposed to the baby.

Potential Legal Issues with Methadone

Due to the problem with withdrawal in newborn babies, some states have filed charges of abuse and neglect against the mother taking methadone. The Division of Child Protection in these states have stated that babies suffering from withdrawal symptoms due to the use of drugs in the mother, even if it is methadone, constitute this as child abuse and the neglectful actions to ensure the health and wellbeing of the child. Suits against these mothers have started in various states due to these charges.

To obtain a definitive understanding and ruling in these matters, one state’s Superior Court and Appellate Court was given the case to deliberate upon. The New Jersey Supreme Court, for the case in New Jersey, ruled that the mother did not commit child abuse and reversed the validation of the lower court in these matters. The state supreme court explained that a mother has the choice to follow the advice and recommendation of a healthcare professional for methods she may participate in that assist in treatment for drugs. The choice to minimize the risk to the baby is in the hands of the mother, and any drugs or prescriptions she is given to eliminate narcotics and harmful substances are hers to make.

A Woman’s Choice

While some state courts have ruled that the use of methadone to help combat drug addiction is the mother’s choice, not all states have yet deliberated on this issue, leaving the question open regarding the legality of the drug. Many states in the United States have not attempted to bring charges against women with unborn children that take methadone as a treatment option. So, the decision is often left to the expecting mother on whether this option is best for the baby and mother
.