I have read many answers on the web about the weight of a prescription pill in regards to trafficking charges. In Florida the amount of illegal substance is not a defense anymore seeing the statutory language is clear that "any mixture of or derivative of" meaning the aggregate weight is whats calculated. If a 7.5 mg lortab is considered illegal it will weigh in at 7.5 mg/500 mg depending on the manufacturer. The total weight in that perspective is 507.5 mg. It would take possession of 8 pills in Florida to be charged with trafficking. The 7.5 mg only states the amount of the controlled substance within the pill.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The weight of a specific pill can vary.
Your analysis is enlightening, but, if you are interested in FL law then the only relevant issue in narcotics cases is the physical weight of the pills. It is the aggregate physical weight of the pills that makes the difference between possession and trafficking, as well as which distinguishes between the various minimum mandatory penalties associated with weight.
The weight of the pill refers to the physical weight of the pill, not of the amount of controlled substance contained in the pill. For example, a 7.5mg Lortab contains 7.5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and 500 mgs of acetaminophen, but the pill actually weighs "X" (it could be anywhere from .2 to .5 grams - or other, that is just my experience), and "X" is the number that matters.
In regard to opiates, in FL if you have > 4 grans then it is simple (3rd degree felony) possession with no minimum mandatory. If you have 14 it carries a 3 year min/mand; 28 a 15 year min/mand; and
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The weight varies with the manufacturer.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
Criminal Defense Attorney
Generally speaking, just slightly more than the 507.5mg or .507 grams. You're correct that 8 of those pills should tip the scales at just over 4 grams triggering a 3 year min/man trafficking charge under 893.135. What's even more ridiculous is that you could have roughly 49 oxycontin 80's and still be under 4 grams. Thus you could have 3.92 grams (49 Oxycontin 80's) of pure oxycodone and only be committing a F3, or .06 grams (8 lortabs) and be committing an F1 with a 3 year min/man.
Please do NOT take this as me advising you to possess oxycontin rather than lortab. I'm simply pointing out a really asinine result of 893.135.