Illegal Possession of a Prescription Drug

Have you ever been sick before, and your friend or family member offered to give you their leftover antibiotics? Or, perhaps you were at a friend’s house and you told them about your sleeping problems. In an effort to be “helpful,” your friend offered to give you a few of their sleeping pills. Or, perhaps you were in a lot of pain after a back injury and someone offered to sell you a few days’ worth of their pain meds to get you through until you see your doctor. If any of the above has happened to you, or something similar, you’re not alone. These types of scenarios happen to just about everyone. It may seem innocent enough, but in reality, it’s against the law to possess a medication without a valid prescription.

What the Law Says

Under Title 6, Chapter 483 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, it’s illegal to possess or deliver (sell, give away or supply) a “dangerous drug,” which is defined as “a drug that is unsafe for self-medication” and that bears a legend that says “Rx only” or “federal law prohibits dispensing without a prescription,” according to Sec. 483.001 (2)(A) and (2)(B) of the Health and Safety Code. Under Sec. 483.041 of the Health and Safety Code, it’s against the law to possess a dangerous drug unless you have a valid prescription and you obtain the drug from a pharmacist, or from your doctor. If you are caught possessing a prescription drug, and it was not prescribed for you by your doctor, or obtained directly from your doctor, you commit a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $4,000 fine, or by up to one year in jail, or by a fine and imprisonment. As you can imagine, it’s very easy to commit this offense, even if you are not an ordinary criminal. Every day, people share prescriptions with the “best intentions,” but what they are doing is criminalized under state law. If you are facing criminal charges for illegally possessing a prescription medication, we urge you to contact our Plano drug possession attorney for help!

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