Prescription Drug Defense

Nassau County Prescription Drug Defense

10.0 Avvo-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers in Long Island

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has begun concentrated efforts to crack down on prescription drug abuse in the United States. While these endeavors have been effective in many ways, unfortunately too many conscientious healthcare providers have been penalized due to over-aggressive actions by the DEA.

Our Nassau County drug crime lawyers at Foley Griffin are passionate about providing tough defense and aggressive advocacy for the criminally accused. Our firm has been representing individuals for over 25 years in Nassau County. We work through the nuances of each of our clients’ unique and individual cases to protect their rights, help them avoid jail, and limit their likelihood of drug charges and convictions.

Contact our firm at (888) 966-8480 for aggressive legal representation against prescription drug charges.

What Is Prescription Drug Fraud?

There are two types of prescription drug fraud - Writing fraudulent prescriptions using medical prescription pads or hiring individuals to obtain prescriptions from their doctors by convincing their doctors of their need for addictive prescription drugs. Prescription drug fraud is considered a third or fourth-degree felony under federal law and can carry punishments of up to 18 months in prison, fines of up to $30,000, or both.

Some examples of addictive prescription pharmaceuticals includes:

  • Percocet
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Sleep medications
  • Barbiturates
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Amphetamines (Adderall & Dexedrine)

In an investigation into potential prescription drug fraud / illegal distribution, law enforcement officials may conduct a thorough review of every aspect of your business. From interviewing your employees and your patients to examining your records, the process can be disruptive and stressful. Knowing that the right lawyer is on your side is absolutely critical.

Common New York Prescription Drug Charges

New York divides controlled substances (CS) into five schedules. Schedule l is considered the most potentially addictive with the following schedules up to Schedule V decreasing in potential addictive qualities and probability of abuse. The U.S. Senate passed the FDA Safety and Innovation Act in May 2012 that reclassified all products containing hydrocodone from Schedule lll to Schedule ll drugs because of their addictive qualities and high change of abuse among users. As such, punishments are now more severe for these types of drug offenses.

In New York, it’s illegal to possess CS without a valid medical prescription, and the severity of punishment will vary based on amount and type of drug found, if it’s a first or second offense, or if the act was considered violent.

A “felony drug offender” means a defendant who is convicted of any felony. Under New York State Penal Law (PEN § 70.70), the following applies to felony drug offenders:

  • Class B: at least one year in prison and not exceeding nine years, except for the criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near a school grounds, on a school bus, or the sale of a controlled substance to a child; in this case, the term will be at least two years and not exceed nine years
  • Class C: at least one year and not exceeding five and one-half years
  • Class D: at least one year and not exceeding two and one-half years
  • Class E: at least one year and not exceeding one and one-half years

Keeping in mind the history and character of the defendant, the court may decide that one convicted of a felony drug offense could receive a term of one year or less. A second felony drug offender is one whose prior felony conviction was not a violent felony. The following applies to second felony drug offenders:

  • Class B: at least two years and not exceeding twelve years
  • Class C: at least one and one-half years and not exceeding eight years
  • Class D: at least one and one-half years and not exceeding four years
  • Class E: at least one and one-half years and not exceeding two years

A second felony drug offender who was also previously convicted of a violent felony shall receive the following:

  • Class B: at least six years and not exceeding fifteen years
  • Class C: at least three and one-half years and not exceeding nine years
  • Class D: at least two and one-half years and not exceeding four and one-half years
  • Class E: at least two years and not exceeding two and one-half years


Penalties for the sale or trafficking of prescription drugs in New York will vary depending on the amount, type of drug, and if minors were or would be involved. Charges range from first to fifth degree, with first being the most severe and punishable by:

A minimum of eight to 20 years in prison for non-major drug traffickers, followed by a five-year period of post-release supervision

At least 12 to 20 years in prison for second felony drug offenders

At least 15 years in prison with a maximum term of life imprisonment for major drug traffickers

Fines of up to $100,000

Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs

Those who are pulled over or arrested under the influence of drugs may face DWI charges in New York. Those convicted could face severe forms of punishment that will vary based factors such as age, substance impairing the individual, driver’s license status, and whether or not it is your first DWI offense. Most punishments will include jail time, license suspension or revocation, and/or fines.

At Foley Griffin, We Look Forward to Earning Your Trust.

Our team is passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable. We are former New York State prosecutors who understand how the system works. This background enables us to provide key criminal defense representation for our clients. Our experience, understanding, and ability set us apart. We have been serving clients in our community since 1997, and we are here to help you. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin working on your defense.

Serving Clients Throughout Long Island and All Five Boroughs. Call (888) 966-8480 Today! 

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