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The possession, sale, or manufacture of controlled substances can carry harsh penalties under Indiana law. A controlled substance is simply defined as any drug or chemical whose use, manufacture, or possession is regulated by the government. While illegal drugs most commonly come to mind when we think of controlled substances, prescription drugs also fall into this category. Laws regarding illegal sale, distribution, or manufacture of prescription drugs can carry harsh penalties in Indiana, and that is why it is more important than ever to speak with an Indianapolis prescription drug lawyer who will look out for your best interests.
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Prescription Drug Laws
Any person who fraudulently acquires a controlled substance by prescription alteration commits a Level 6 felony. A Level 6 felony is punishable by six months to 2.5 years in prison and fines no more than $10,000. In the case of secondary or subsequent offenses, the person commits a Level 5 felony, which carries a maximum sentence of one to six years in prison and fines up to $10,000. First offense or not, it is imperative to discuss your rights with an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorney.
If a person duplicates, copies, or reproduces prescription pads without a practitioner’s permission, he or she has committed a Level 6 felony in the case of first offenses and a Level 5 felony for subsequent offenses. Distribution of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs is considered a Level 6 felony.
Preparing a Defense
If you face a controlled substance charge, it is imperative to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Every case is unique, but your Indianapolis prescription drug lawyer may be able to help you by using defenses like illegal search and seizure if the authorities did not secure a valid warrant before taking the controlled substances. You may also be able to argue duress or coercion if you felt forced to hold onto the drugs for someone else. Depending on your individual circumstances, your criminal defense attorneys can help you negotiate a lesser sentence than the maximum allowed by law.
Personal Injury Due to Prescription Drugs
Most of us have had to rely on prescription drugs at some point in our lives. Whether it is an antibiotic for an infection or a preventive pill to treat a heart condition, prescriptions are a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, sometimes large pharmaceutical companies abuse the public’s trust in their ability to make us well. Drug company settlements are too common for comfort.
In 2013, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson settled for $2.2 billion dollars after it was discovered it was promoting off-label use of an anti-psychotic drug (Risperdal) to children and the elderly without safety or efficacy testing. It was also offering kickbacks to practitioners for prescribing the drug for off-label use.
With deceit so commonplace in the pharmaceutical industry, it is important to have an advocate who can help you protect your most important asset: your health. If you suspect you are experiencing a dangerous side effect from a drug, talk to your doctor about your concerns. You may also want to consider seeking legal counsel.
Types of Personal Injury Damages
When seeking personal injury damages, awards come in two basic types:
- Generally speaking, compensatory damages seek to reimburse the affected party for the harm it has suffered.
- These types of damages are not awarded as often. Punitive damages are sought to punish the wrong-doer for behavior. These may be awarded for gross negligence or wanton fraud. In the Johnson & Johnson case cited above, the plaintiffs were awarded punitive damages. Many pharmaceutical company settlements reward punitive damages because the companies have deep pockets and are found to be grossly exaggerating or neglecting to mention a prescription drugs’ efficacy or dangerous side effects.
If you wish to seek personal injury damages due to side effects or unintended consequences of taking a prescription drug, the first step is to obtain counsel to discuss your options. An aggressive attorney at our Indianapolis law firm will be your advocate and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today if you have questions about our personal injury services or need immediate legal representation from a prescription drug attorney in Indianapolis, IN.
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