Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

Criminal Record Expungements/Sealings, Traffic Defense.

733 West Colonial Drive, Orlando 32801 - 407-841-5555

Drug Prescription Defense

Florida Case Law On Drug Offense Issues

Legal Opinions From The Florida Supreme Court And The District Courts Of Appeal

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

Florida's prescription drugs have been the focus of abuse by patients and prescribers (doctors; pharmacists). Because of this, Florida has implemented a Prescription Drug Monitoring program that was created under section 893.055, Florida Statutes. It is generally considered a defense to possession of a controlled substance if the accussed had a prescription for the drugs he or she is charged with illegally possessing. However, the presricption drug defense is not absolute.


Ayotte v. State, 67 So.3d 330 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011): Defendant claimed drugs he possessed were his girlfriends and that she had a valid prescription. This is an actual statutory defense and a jury instruction that told the jury this legislative fact was necessary.

Glovacz v. State, 60 So.3d 423 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011): Failure to give a prescriptive defense instruction to the jury is fundamental error. This may be the case even if the defense has failed to request the instruction. See, McCoy v. State, 56 So.3d 37 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010)(Main case on the application of fundamental error over lack of prescription defense instructions).

Gonzalez v. State, 84 So.3d 362 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012): A prescription obtained in violation of the doctor shopping statute (s. 893.13(7)(a)8, Fla. Stat.) is a valid prescription for purposes of the prescription defense. See also, Knipp v. State, 67 So.3d 376 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011)(Main case regarding the interplay between s. 893.13(7)(a)8 and s. 499.03, Fla. Stats.); Wagner v. State, 88 So.3d 250 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012)(Reiterating the premise in Knipp).

Williams v. State, 85 So.3d 1185 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012): Prescription drug defense is available not only to the person who obtained the prescription but also to another person authorized by the person with the prescription to possess the drug on their behalf. See, State v. Latona, 75 So.3d 394 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011)(Supporting Williams but see dissent).

Celeste v. State, 79 So.3d 898 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012): See this case for an exception to the prescription drug defense. State failed to overcome defense but case points out reason.



Corrections/Errors; Questions

The purpose of publishing this information is to help both prosecutors and defense attorneys, and non-lawyers better understand the criminal justice system in Florida. We appreciate any input that may further this goal.

Found an error or want to suggest a correction for this page? Please inform us by emailing us at Corrections And Errors.

If you have a question about representation on a criminal case you can email us at Question About Representation.

If you want to suggest a new or old case that we have not listed on this website please submit the complete bluebook case citation to Suggest Case Law.


If you found any information I have provided on this webpage helpful please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

Contact Us - Click Here