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3 reasons people may face criminal charges for prescribed drugs

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The list of prohibited or banned drugs grows every few years. As different substances become popular or widely available, state lawmakers have to act to protect the public from these dangerous drugs. For every illegal or prohibited drug, there are multiple other controlled substances that are only available through the recommendation of a physician. That list constantly grows as well.

Prescribed drugs are theoretically legal for people to possess and use if a licensed physician deems them necessary and oversees their administration. However, people can still break the law with prescription drugs. The following are some of the most common reasons that people get arrested for offenses involving prescription medication.

Using medication without a prescription

Perhaps a coworker suggested trying some of their extra ADHD medication to help get a project finished on time. Maybe a neighbor has leftover medication following a surgery that they sold to an individual with chronic migraines. Even when people know what a prescription does and how to take it relatively safely, it is illegal to use a prescribed medication without a doctor’s prescription. Anyone caught in possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription could theoretically face criminal charges.

Driving after taking a medication

Quite a few prescription medications can negatively affect driving skills. There are muscle relaxants and pain relievers, as well as psychiatric medications and sleep aids. Any medication labeled with a warning to avoid operating heavy machinery could potentially affect driving ability and may warrant someone’s arrest for impaired driving. The legality of the medication does not matter if the drug could potentially affect someone’s control of their vehicle.

Transferring medication to others

Prescription medications are very expensive, and many people would love to recover some of what they pay for a prescription they don’t use in full. However, attempts to recoup financial investments in medication typically violate the law. Selling a medication to someone else, even if they have previously used the same prescription, is a crime. In fact, transferring a medication even without financial gain is a crime.

Those accused of improper conduct with prescribed medications can face charges ranging from impairment at the wheel to drug trafficking. Fighting prescription drug charges can help people avoid criminal penalties and a record that could affect many aspects of their lives. Those who know that not all conduct with a prescription is legal can avoid mistakes that could easily send them to jail.