My question involves criminal law for the state of: Georgia.
Six years ago I was diagnosed with severe Spinal Stenosis with left leg sciatica pain. I was originally put on Ultram and 30 Vicodin for breakthrough. I moved and was told to go to a pain clinic. The pain clinic switched me from Ultram/Vicodin to Percocet/MS Contin. I later found out it was because, in Georgia, you can't call in schedule II medications and to get them from a pain clinic, you need to make an appointment. Needless to say, I got horribly hooked really quick. Then my mom died and to cope, I took pain pills. Fast forward to August of 2010. I had lost my insurance, was on Methadone, and am a broke college student. So, with the pain of withdrawals in the back of my mind, I forged a prescription of Methadone. It worked until February 2011 when I was arrested for violating Ga Law Code 16-13-43 which is "unauthorized distribution penalties". I didn't think anything of it because it was my first offense and I was going to plead "First Offender". Fast forward to April 27th, 2012, 3 days before my last court hearing. I've been still forging prescriptions and have been getting them filled at Walgreens for the past year and a half. I've been trying to find a way to do it legally. I've gone to 5 different pain doctors, all of which wouldn't/couldn't do anything. I told one doctor the truth, he couldn't prescribe me anything stronger than a few Vicodin, and being on Methadone, it would have been pointless. I went to another doctor and lied, he gave me a month script but discharged me because he didn't like prescribing me Methadone. Didn't even ask if I wanted to switch/taper. Went to another doctor, he wanted to me on Suboxone, which I can't afford the $8/pill. There were others. I tried. May 25th comes and I'm almost out of Methadone. I go to Walgreens and get arrested and I'm on probation First Offenders. My original offense was in Henry County, Ga, south of Atlanta by an hour. My new one is actually in Fulton County (Atlanta). I was charged once again with 16-13-43, which, once again, is "unauthorized distribution: penalties". Now, being an addict and wanting pain pills for pain, why in god's green Earth would I ever sell my pills? If you look at Ga Law Code 16-14-78, which is also only a misdemeanor, that sounds more like what they are claiming I did. Fulton County also has Drug Court, which I've read up on and that if I complete, I have a chance to not serve jail time and charges dismissed. I would have gladly done Henry County Drug Court if they had it. I've been trying to find a good reason to come off Methadone. Which, after I got arrested, I did. Fulton County jail is horrible compared to Henry County. I got spoiled in Henry County. I haven't taken a Methadone pill since the 25th of May. I went 17 days completely clean and finally, after the withdrawals subsided, my original spinal stenosis/sciatica pain kicked in and I went to my Primary Care Physician and he gave me Ultram again. Which has been working wonders!!! I have a warrant out for my arrest in Henry County now for violating probation. If I do violate, I could face 16 years and $100,000 in fines. Any advice on what I should do/say? Is there anyway I could call my Fulton County public defender, have her tell them that I'm an addict, gonna do drug court and link that to my probation so I don't violate. Say if I fail drug court I'll go right to prison, "do not pass Go" type deal. I mean, I worked at a Pharmacy and I had plenty of chances to steal drugs there, didn't. I don't do drugs. (coke, marijuana, heroin (never tried heroin)). I don't have any convictions besides Henry County. I'm 26, first arrest was when I was 25. I don't have any violent offenses. I'm a college student. I'm just a broke pain pill addict. In fact, before, when I had insurance, I was an even worse addict. I was doctor shopping, doing all kinds of stuff. Methadone actually calmed me down and got me on the straight and narrow. It took away my pain and prevented me from getting high. I know this is no excuse but, if I would have had insurance/money, this wouldn't have happened. The doctor that everybody claiming I forged was once my physician and the one that got me on Fentanyl patches (almost died on those) and finally put me on Methadone. My questions are: What should I expect? What should I say? What should I do? I need my record clean. My future depends on it.