The ongoing epidemic seems to show no signs of slowing down. Dozens of people are losing their lives each day due to overdoses, which has health groups and law enforcement agencies understandably frightened. The latter is taking the opportunity to ramp up its efforts to investigate and prosecute certain drug crimes that can be tied to the epidemic.
Law enforcement groups around the country have made increased efforts to track and arrest people suspected of:
- Prescription fraud: Much of the opioid epidemic can be traced back to people using opiate prescriptions. This has brought attention to cases in which it seems the prescription drug was obtained through illegal channels, such as providing it to someone who does not have the prescription. Medical providers have also been put under the magnifying glass of the law to look for cases in which opioid prescriptions are given unnecessarily, perhaps for a financial kickback from a pharmaceutical company.
- Possession with intent: People who appear to have more prescription opioids on hand than needed or required for their medical care could be accused of possession with intent in Virginia and other states. This criminal statute basically states that a person with an “unusually large amount” of a single substance can be charged for the intent to distribute it, even if there is no evidence to suggest as much.
- Drug distribution: In 2018, it appears that more fatal opioid overdoses are being caused by illegal “street level” opiates than prescription drugs. Fentanyl laced into after-market opioids is believed to be the number one killer in the opioid epidemic. As such, law enforcement agencies are trying to crack down on people allegedly looking to distribute opioids to others.
What is important to realize is no matter how widespread the opioid epidemic may become, it does not justify law enforcement agencies and officers to act overzealous in their duties. In the Fredericksburg area, distribution crimes are treated very harshly, even in cases where the accused does not do so for profit, but out of the desperate need to support his own addiction. At Andrew J. Cornick, Attorney at Law, my team and I, Fredericksburg Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew Cornick, proudly stands up for the rights of the accused and criminally charged. I believe in innocence until proven guilty, as well as a reasonable criminal justice system that allows for mercy for all.
Discover how I can protect your rights after you are charged for a drug crime in Virginia by calling me at (540) 827-4446, or by sending my law firm a contact form today. Free consultations are available.