OKC Drug Crimes Attorney
Anna Herman, host
Jacqui Ford, Attorney
A: Welcome Your Best Defense podcast. This is Anna Herman, and today I’m talking to OKC drug crimes attorney Jacqui Ford. How are you doing Jacqui?
J: I’m doing very good Anna. Thank so much.
A: Thank you. We are still kind of journeying through some of our drugs-related crimes. And we’re going to talk a little bit more in depth about the tracking level.
J: Absolutely. So, you know we’ve done a couple of other podcasts about drugs, but I think it’s important we talk about all the other drugs we deal with. Right? Marijuana’s easy. It’s very common and prevalent. We’ve already talked about cocaine and crack cocaine.
But here in Oklahoma we’re seeing a comeback of some other throwback drugs. Right? Heroin is making a big come back here in Oklahoma City. And we’ve seen a lot of people charged with possession of heroin. We’re going to talk about why I think that is. We’ve seen ecstasy. It has always been around. Ecstasy is important to talk about as well. And the good old-fashioned acid, otherwise known as LSD. And you know Oklahoma, at one point, was number one in the meth-making business. So we’ll talk about meth a little bit too. Because all of these things are important.
Much like cocaine and crack cocaine, which we’ve talked about previously, all of these drugs can be possessed simply. Meaning, you know, if I get pulled over, and I’ve got two tablets of ecstasy – that’s a simple possession of ecstasy. But what does it mean when I have greater quantities?
For the purposes of trafficking we’ve talked about it before, but it’s important to say again tracking is not what we think trafficking is. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re moving large quantities of drugs from state to state to state. Or, from Mexico to the United States, or Canada, or otherwise. It’s not about transportation. It’s not about massive distribution. It’s about possession.
So, with trafficking in Oklahoma every drug is defined and how much you can possess prior to being charge with trafficking is easily defined. So, I want to throw this out there so that people know. It’s important. If you’re going to possess ecstasy you will be charged with trafficking in ecstasy if you possess 30 tablets are more. Or, 10 grams of ecstasy. Right? So, 30 tablets or up to 10 grams. Ten grams can be charged as trafficking.
LSD is only one gram. That’s not very much LSD. Right? So, often times it’s packaged on little pieces of paper, sometimes it’s fluid. But one gram, that they can quantifiably test LSD throughout, is trafficking.
Methamphetamine – different than crack, different than cocaine. And yet again, our legislature drawing a line that we can make some assumptions based off of. You possess 28 grams of cocaine, that’s trafficking. With meth it’s only 20 grams. Twenty grams of methamphetamine will get you charged with trafficking in Oklahoma. No probation. No paper time. You ain’t getting no LSI. You are going to prison for a long period of time.
Anytime you are charged with trafficking the possible punishment the state of Oklahoma up to life in prison on a first-time offense. Multiple offenses, if you got priors, you can just imagine those minimums are going up and up and up, and each drug carries a different range. We’ll have to talk about in our consultations on a case-by-case basis, or we’d be here all day.
Another thing that’s important to talk about, when you’re talking about Oklahoma City drug crimes, is prescription drugs. Prescription drugs have made a big impact in people’s lives, and it affects everybody on all walks of life. Right? It doesn’t matter if you’re poor or poverty-stricken, or super-filthy rich. Everybody’s on prescriptions, or they know somebody who’s on prescriptions. Why does that matter? If you are arrested, and you are in possession of a prescription drug, you must have a valid current prescription for that drug. Many people don’t know, that say you woke up this morning and your back was hurting. And it’s hurting real bad. And your mom, or your sister, or I say to you, “Hey Anna, I know. I know you’ve got back problem. I’ve got a Lortab here from back when I had my root canal done, and I didn’t take them all. Do you want a Lortab?” If I give you that Lortab, I’ve just illegally distributed CDS. That is a crime. By you possessing that Lortab without a valid current prescription from a doctor to you, you are now possessing a crime. People don’t know that. It is something that many people do all the time. So, it’s important. We cannot be ignorant of the law. You cannot possess drugs that have been prescribed to someone else.
You cannot possess your own drugs if the prescription is not current. One of the big problems we see, and this is really unfortunate. So, you go into the pharmacy, and especially if you’re somebody who has to take daily meds, you’re familiar with the medication boxes? Right? So, you’ve got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Some of them have morning pills an afternoon pills. And many, many people put their medicine in those. Now, some of that medicine may simply be Tylenol, maybe it’s Zyrtec, but if any of that medicine is a controlled dangerous substance, you’re not legally permitted to carry your drugs that way. Even if it’s more convenient. Even if your doctor has said, “Get you a little pill packet so you don’t forget that alarm on your phone. You take these at 10. You take this at two. You take this with lunch.” If you are doing that, and you come in contact with law enforcement and law enforcement wants to give you a hard time, they can charge you with the illegal possession of CDS.
How do you overcome that? Well, once you post your $2-4000 bond, if not more, and then you come hire an Oklahoma City drug crimes lawyer, like myself, then we can sometimes get those charges dismissed if we can provide a proof of a prescription in your name, a current prescription in your name. But by then you’ve spent an awful lot of money. You’ve spent money posting bond, and money hiring lawyers. Your reputation has been destroyed in community, and quite frankly law enforcement doesn’t care.
Some cases we’ve seen recently are just as simple as a kid having an Adderall in his backpack because he is studying for finals. Right? Everybody’s doing it. It’s not that big of a deal. Who would think that possessing an Adderall would be a crime? In Oklahoma, possessing an Adderall without a current prescription to you, can very well land you arrested and charged with a crime.
A: And that would be a felony?
J: It certainly could give rise to a felony. So, prescription drugs are going to be different depending on what they are, but most everything in Oklahoma, almost everything, falls under Schedule I, II, or III. And almost all of them can get you charged with a felony crime.
So, it’s dangerous. People need to be aware if we’re going to travel with our prescriptions, whether it be in our purse or car, they must be maintained in their regular prescription bottle. That is the best way to not have to fix it on the back end. People come in and they say, “Can you fix this? Can you make it go away?” Well, absolutely. Often times we can make it go away, but it’s a mighty expensive mistake.
So, I tell you this, and this podcast exists for one reason and one reason only. Be smart, and if you’re going to use your prescription drugs make sure if you travel with them – keep them in their current pill bottle. Don’t mix-and-match them. That gets dangerous. It’s hard to explain and it makes it hard to work. And even if we can make it happen, it can be a long drawn-out process, and the damage at that point’s, unfortunately, already done.
You know, the Internet, when people look you up, it doesn’t always identify the difference between the CDS. So, just because it says, you know all it was was Adderall, it shows up as possession of CDS. The average Joe Blow might as well think that’s methamphetamine. Because they’re all controlled dangerous substances, and the law doesn’t very much distinguish between many of them.
Another problem we have dealing with prescription drugs right now, and we see more and more and more of this, is individuals who were driving while under the influence of prescription drugs. Whether or not that’s a crime. Probably, nobody’s going to know you’re driving under the influence of drugs unless you get in an accident. And we need to hope like hell there’s not fatality involved in that accident. But even if there is, or if there’s just minor injuries, if law enforcement believes that your reflexes and your ability to drive are impaired in some way, now you have not only a possible possession of CDS if your carrying that prescription with you in an unmarked bottle, or a bottle is not current. But now you have you a DUI-drugs, and if you have a fatality, now you have a manslaughter DUI-drugs.
And again, it’s that hindsight, you know? People just don’t know and they’re devastated. They come in my office and they say, “I’ve been on this medicine, you know, for weeks or months and it’s doctor prescribed. I have chronic pain. I drive on my pain medicine all the time.” Well, we’re probably going to have to put 12 in the box. Because our law enforcement and our prosecutors don’t much care about the fact that you have prescription drug. If they think they can prove that even while on those prescriptions your mind, or your body, was under the influence such that couldn’t appropriately react – you’re going to jury trial. You’re going to trial and you run a big risk.
So, I encourage people, if you are taking prescription drugs, especially if you’re new to it, you know, if you’ve just gone to the dentist, that’s when I generally find myself with pain medicine is when the dentist puts me in pain. But if you find yourself in a position to be prescribed medication, prior to ever driving on the medication, you need to see how you react. Because it’s not a defense, the mere fact that you are prescribed the medication is not an absolute defense if you’re involved in an accident and you cause someone else harm.
A: Excellent. That was a lot of information Jacqui. Thank you so much.
J: Thank you Anna.
A: And thank you for joining us on Your Best Defense podcast with OKC drug crimes attorney. We’ll see you next time.
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