In: Criminal Law0

Adderall Convictions Being Overturned

A snafu in the Texas legislation is causing Adderall felony cases to be dismissed across the state. Legislation changed what once was a felony possession charge to a misdemeanor while the Texas legal system seemed to be unaware. More than 50 pending cases and 18 processed cases have been identified to date, and more cases are expected to surface. District attorneys are currently attempting to locate all convicted incarcerated cases and release them from jail.


How The Error Came About

According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the situation began in 2014 when legislators were working to change the laws around synthetic marijuana, known on the street as Spice or Kush, to increase the penalties for possession of this drug. This came in response to the manufacturers of synthetic marijuana skirting the law by changing the chemical make-up of the illicit street drug every few months.

In order to capture all the compounds used to make the drug, lawmakers created a large net of compounds to be included. To make sure that people in possession of valid prescription medications like Adderall were not prosecuted, the lawmakers wrote in an exception. This exception used wording to exclude any class of drug that is “approved by the Federal Drug Administration.”


Legislation Changes

On September 1, 2015, this exception text created a loophole for the possession of Adderall and other prescription controlled substances like Vyvanse from a felony to a misdemeanor charge. TDCAA staff attorney Sharon Edmonds stated, “It was an untended consequence to some of the changes to a complicated statute.” This was supported by the fact that it took over a year for the wording to be noticed.

Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys all missed the specific change in the language around Adderall and its prescription stimulant counterparts used in the treatment of ADHD. Legislators plan to address the situation and pass a new law during the January 2017 legislative session that will return Adderall and other prescription stimulant possession to a felony. In the meantime, the search for those mischarged with a felony after the decriminalization continues.


There Is Help

If you were charged and convicted of Adderall or other prescription stimulant possession after the decriminalization, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to explore your options. If you have been accused of any drug crime, it is critical to work with an attorney who is up to date on the ever-changing laws to ensure that you are defended properly. At the Law Office of Kyle Whittaker, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights.


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