Possessing your own prescription drugs is not a crime in and of itself. The pharmaceutical system in America is designed to care for patients safely and legally when all parties participate properly. However, criminal charges can arise when prescription patients manage their medication illegally.
Individuals in legal possession of prescription drugs can face criminal charges if they mishandle their drugs. Example scenarios include:
Storing Your Prescription Drugs Outside of the Original Container
It is unlawful to “repackage” your prescriptions from their original containers.
Perhaps you’re traveling by plane and want to pack your prescriptions in a flight-friendly way. If you transfer your prescriptions to a pillbox or another space-saving container, authorities can spot the unmarked medication and question your activity. They can assume you are in unlawful possession of the medication and charge you with a misdemeanor.
It may help to have a written medical prescription from your doctor on hand, but that will not guarantee protection against receiving criminal charges. Although using a pillbox or other container may seem convenient, it’s wise to keep your prescriptions in their original pharmacy-provided bottles to avoid confusion.
Sharing Your Prescription Drugs
It is against the law to provide your prescription medication to anyone for any reason. Even if you and another person receive the exact same prescription medication, it is considered criminal activity to hand over medication specifically prescribed to you.
Let’s say you are hiking a trail with a friend who suddenly falls and sprains an ankle. You happen to have a few leftover prescription painkillers in your hiking bag due to your own injury last month. It’s easy and almost heroic to want to pass one of your pills to your friend. However, this act could result in criminal charges, specifically distribution charges.
Have you received criminal charges for prescription medication that you legally own? Talk to Bushway Law Firm about your case.
Gregory Bushway is a former prosecutor who provides excellent counsel in drug-related cases, including charges related to prescription medication. Schedule a consultation with our team today, and let Gregory prepare your defense: 478-621-4995