Drug Charges For Prescription Medications
Can you face drug charges for possessing or using a prescription medication? If you do not have a prescription for the specific drug in your name and from a valid health care provider who is licensed to prescribe medications, you can indeed face charges. It can seem strange and unfair that you could be facing drug possession or related charges under these kinds of circumstances. However, it is important to realize that this is how Texas law works and that you need to hire an experienced Texas drug defense lawyer to help you fight these charges. At The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC, we know it might have seemed totally harmless to use a friend’s medication for Xanax, for example, or for a pain reliever containing codeine after suffering an injury. Yet these decisions can actually result in criminal charges and convictions if you cannot build an effective defense.
What else do you need to know about drug charges for prescription medications? Consider the following information.
Many Prescription Drugs Are Listed as Controlled Substances Under Texas Law
There are many prescription drugs identified by Texas law as controlled substances, which are also known as scheduled drugs. In other words, without a valid prescription that is in your name and that was provided by a legitimate health care provider, it is unlawful to possess or to use these substances. Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use in the United States, but Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V drugs all have some safe and accepted medical use. Yet having a safe and accepted medical use does not mean that you can possess them without a valid prescription.
Examples of those drugs include but are not limited to:
- Acetaminophen with codeine;
- Alprazolam; and
Penalties for Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs
The penalties for possession of a controlled substance that is also a prescription drug will vary depending upon the type of drug and the amount of it in your possession. Depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, you could be facing the following charges and sentences:
- Class B misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000);
- Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000);
- State jail felony (up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000);
- 3rd degree felony (up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000);
- 2nd degree felony (up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000); or
- 1st degree felony (up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000).
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney to Assist with Your Drug Charges
When you are facing drug charges of any type in Texas, it is critical to seek help from a lawyer with your defense. Even if your drug charges involve the unlawful possession of a prescription medication, you should remember that you can still face significant penalties if you are convicted. It is important to do everything you can to beat the drug crimes charges you are facing, and a Temple drug crimes defense attorneys at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC can assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to begin working on a defense strategy for your case.