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How much does "1" prescription pill weigh ?

Pensacola, FL |

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.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

The weight of a specific pill can vary.

Posted

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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Asker

Posted

yes, I agree that pills very in weight but i have noticed in modern time very intricated details play a part in the cop/crime lab analysis. The evidence could be deemed tampered with in the process of identification of the pill. If a cop on scene does a chem. test the evidence is at that point tainted based on the statutory element of weight in regards to a trafficing case. The same if the crime lab doesn't report the weight prior to the chem. test. In cases close to the deciding factor of what degree a felony is or between possession or trafficking how the pill is handled could mean a difference in mandantory sentence that can be imposed. The reason it would be tampered with on scene by a police officer is the pill it's self is a powder compressed into it's shape. regardless of it being pressed it is still able to absord the fluid of the chem. test if it is done through a liquid identification. Changing the aggregate weight of 1 or 2 pills is not a danger but if every pill has weight added then there could be reason for a move of dismissal if there is more then a few pills. For this to be brough onto the record it could possibly destroy a prosecutors case. The crime lab failure to report weigh prior to the chem. test if it is done through a liquid identifier is tampered with as well. So being free to weigh pills after it goes through the lab could possibly distort the defendants defense on the element of weight

Posted

The weight varies with the manufacturer.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239

Posted

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.