Used to lessen pain and help coughs, Codeine is a frequently prescribed drug. Derived from an opiate that dulls the senses and has a sedative effect, Codeine is a particularly strong medication. But, like many prescription medications, possession of Codeine without a prescription is a serious drug crime. As the oldest opiate derivative that was available over the counter, Codeine has been in existence long enough to be used for a variety of medications that are abused and used in an illegal nature by consumers. You should contact a Birmingham drug defense lawyer for help if facing these drug-related charges.

Classification Under The Controlled Substances Act

Codeine is frequently used in combination with other medications and different dosages, which results in Codeine being listed under three schedules. When Codeine is used in pure form or a medication that contains 90 mg or more per dose of Codeine, Codeine is classified as a Schedule II drug and has the potential for drug abuse and addiction. Lower doses of codeine however, which is found in Tylenol or cough syrup, are considered Schedule II or V dependent upon the amount of Codeine that the medication contains.  

Possession of Codeine Charges in Birmingham, AL

Because Codeine is frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain, many individuals commit possession crimes without being aware of it. The pain-killing element of Codeine is so strong that individuals continue to use more of the drug, eventually leading to addictions. A second group of consumers find that Codeine creates feelings of overwhelming happiness and take the drug in an abuse nature to prolong these feelings. A Codeine possession charge requires law enforcement to demonstrate that an individual unlawfully possessed Codeine, knew of the Codeine's presence, knew that Codeine was a controlled substance, and possessed a usable amount.

Possession of Codeine can be either actual or constructive. Actual possession occurs when an individual has Codeine in their possession, while constructive possession refers to individuals who have Codeine in a location that is within their control. If you are found in possession of Codeine without a prescription, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. In addition to resulting in criminal charges, Codeine can cause a wide array of significant side effects in individuals including severe depression, hallucinations, kidney and liver damage, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, and stomach bleeding.

Defending A Codeine Possession Charge

There are several ways that individuals can defend against a Codeine possession charge. Some of the available defenses include that an individual had a valid prescription for Codeine, that an individual did not know they possessed Codeine, or that law enforcement failed to follow procedure and an individual's constitutional rights were violated during a search.

Penalties For Codeine Possession

Individuals who are charged with possession of Codeine without a prescription face significant penalties. These penalties frequently include several years in prison and a substantial fine. For many individuals who face Codeine charges, the individuals might be able to participate in a drug diversion program which can result in the dismissal of charges.

Contact a Birmingham Drug Defense Attorney

If you are faced Codeine possession charges, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney at Eversole Law LLC who can help create a strong legal defense.