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What is the punishment for Stealing someones perscription Narcotics

Milton, FL |

My friend stole 70 Vicodine from her Grandmother's purse. It was in a medicine bottle, and grandma was visiting. Police were called. What is she looking at as far as the name of the charge and the punishment and penality?

The grandmother is under 65. The pill bottle was in her purse, when stolen. My friend suffers from Borderline personality disorder and other mental issiues and when traumatic events happen, as it has, she tends to run and use drugs to mask problems. The family just wants her to get help. She has a past larceny charge in a different state for items stolen but returned. We believe the pills will not be returned. The Grandmother and mother of my friend just want her to get help (as I do) they want to prosecute only to get her the help that she cannot get outside. The longest she has been in jail is 90days a year ago. The family does not wish to see her go to prison, however, do not feel that she needs probation and back to the same. They feel that at least 9months or so in a county jail, would hopefully be enough to get her the mental, drug abuse, and physical help that she needs...How does everyone go about this without her ending up in prison, but not immediately back on the street or home?

Attorney Answers 1


I suppose there's a theft charge and a possession charge involved. The fact that the grandmother may be over 65 years of age could enhance the theft charge, depending on the value of the pills. If the pills changed hands at all there could also be a sales or even a trafficking charge. But, as a defense attorney, I don't usually think about charging decisions except those already made by someone else and besides, what crimes could be supported by the facts for conviction requires knowledge of all the facts, something we don't have here.

Either way, I'm pretty sure there is at least a 3rd degree felony in there somewhere that the state attorney could charge. This may be mitigated if your friend repudiates the crime, say by returning the pills.

Any felony of the third degree is punishable by up to 5 years in the Florida State prison but what punishment eventually is meted out depends on many many factors unknown here. First of all, your friend stole from his or her own family, so there is the desire of the victim to either prosecute or not to consider. Second, why did they steal? Is there is a drug problem here, or perhaps a desire to get money for the pills? Does the person have a prior criminal history of any kind?

If charges are filed this person will need a criminal defense attorney to evaluate those charges and any defenses and mitigating circumstances, to negotiate with the State, and to otherwise represent your friend and your friend's interest. The eventual punishment could range, realistically, from diversion through probation, perhaps with drug treatment, to some time in the jail to prison if the grandmother wanted punishment, the person has a theft or use history and sold or trafficked the pills. I guess that's not a very precise answer but your question leaves too much unanswered to do much better.

I wish your friend luck.

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