Interviewer: If I had a pending drug case and I’m seeking out an attorney to represent me for a drug case what’s the mark that I should be looking out for as far as the best type of attorney that would be good for my case? At the same time what are the red flags I should be looking out for as well?
Randy Berman: I don’t know if there is something you should be looking out for but what I bring to the table as a licensed registered pharmacist is that I know the scientific underpinnings of drugs. Where a case comes in I always make sure that the drugs that were ultimately tested and determined to be what was discovered are the same drugs that the officers and the state attorneys put in their complaint. I’ve seen on numerous occasions police officers misidentify a drug and no one comes back to check that that is in fact the drug. If you are charged with possessions of Oxycodone but the drug is Hydrocodone, you can defeat that at the trial with the help of a chemist.
Police Usually Utilize a Field Test Kit to Make a Drug Determination
Typically police will use a field test kit to make a drug determination. There are a lot of false positives or cross over with many controlled substances so that one drug can test positive for an opiate for instance but many drugs can. If they don’t list the right opiate and they’re prosecuting for possessing that opiate if it turns out you got a different opiate and they don’t change their complaint it’s a basis of getting a dismissal. Once you’re acquitted; double jeopardy prevents them from retrying you again.
I bring not only my best legal experience but my almost 40 years of pharmacy experience when I’m engaged to do a drug case that’s just one example of the type of extra knowledge that I have to bring to the table on these cases. There are more.
Examples of Notable Drug Related Cases in the State of Florida
Interviewer: Are there any particular examples of a drug case that you can share? Maybe there is something more unique or something that’s pretty common as well.
Randy Berman: I’ve handled cases of people who would go to pain clinics which were set up with the specific intention of diverting controlled substances to the streets. Doctors who were willing to run the risk would work at these places, would go through an insincere medical evaluation with someone who obviously didn’t look as if they were in need of pain medication and yet were prescribed high volumes of pain medication to these people.
These people will then fill these prescriptions if they could for a very low amount of money and turn around and sell them on the street for 10 or 20 times the amount that they purchased them for. There was a huge crackdown on pain clinics, on the doctors that prescribed at the clinics, of the patients that fraudulently claimed illnesses at the clinics and then ultimately some pharmacies who blindly filled the prescriptions from these clinics.
I handled those types of cases. They call them the pill mill cases.