Pinellas Attorney Arrested for Bartering Prescription Drugs
Kelly L. Rooth, Shareholder
If you are a small business owner, you will probably at some point be approached by a customer or client who will ask if you are willing to barter for services. Bartering is essentially is accepting a payment in the form other than money. It can be in the form of services or property such as a car, boat, or maybe even jewelry. However, bartering goes astray when the product or good is illegal. Illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills, etc.), stolen goods or sex are prime examples of what bartering should not be.
Bartering is not always the best way to satisfy an outstanding debt as a local Tampa Bay defense attorney Aaron J. Slavin discovered this week. Slavin is accused of accepting oxycodone prescription pills from his client as payment for legal services. As a result, Slavin has landed in serious hot water. Mr. Slavin is now facing the same criminal justice system he not only prosecuted in but also defended people for similar crimes in. Mr. Slavin was arrested for Trafficking Oxycodone and is facing a mandatory prison sentence under Florida law.
When bartering for services or goods, the ownership of the goods must have a clear title and the goods cannot be illegal to possess. Bartering for prescription pills when the pills are not prescribed from your doctor and dispersed for your personal use is illegal under Florida law.
What should you do if a person approaches you to barter for goods or services? Whatever you barter for is considered taxable income and must be assigned a value for the goods or services. It must also be reported to the IRS for the purposes of your taxes. The services or goods provided must be a legal activity or legal to possess. If a person wanted to barter and make payment with a car, it is important to confirm the car is not stolen and that the title on the car is clear and free of any liens. The same approach should be used when dealing with any motorized vehicle. An affidavit of ownership is a precaution that should be taken to protect a person receiving such an item as payment.
Bartering for goods and services is not for everyone and is not appropriate for every situation. A person should not be afraid to decline to barter for goods or services. While bartering can be a legitimate income source, it should be taken as seriously as if you are exchanging cash monies.
If you have questions about bartering or a prescription drug charge, do not hesistate to call our Florida drug crime defense attorneys at Rooth Law Group today: (727) 797-9600 in Pinellas County, (813) 333-6517 in Hillsborough County.