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3 factors that courts consider in a prescription drug case

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Drug Crimes

Those who consume or sell prohibited drugs like methamphetamine understand the risk inherent in their activity. Those at risk of criminal prosecution because of their behavior with prescription medications are often less sure of their legal situation and the consequences that they might face if they are charged with any kind of wrongdoing.

Regardless of whether or not someone has a valid prescription for a specific medication, they could end up arrested and facing drug charges because of how their situation appears to law enforcement professionals. If a prescription drug case goes to criminal court, numerous specific details from the case will impact the charges and in question and the potential consequences that someone may face if convicted.

The schedule of the drugs involved

Both federal and Texas state drug statutes establish a schedule of substances based on how dangerous certain medications are. Schedule I substances have no known medical use and would therefore not be available through prescription in Texas. Those accused of prescription drug offenses will typically have been in possession of drugs that fall under Schedule II or a higher schedule classification. The more likely people are to abuse a drug, the more likely the courts are to impose harsher penalties for violations involving such substances. Fentanyl, for example, is in the highest penalty group in Texas because it is both highly dangerous and commonly abused.

Someone’s criminal record

An individual with only one prior criminal offense related to a traffic incident would likely have a different defense strategy than someone with multiple prior drug offenses on their record. The courts will absolutely look at someone’s history when deciding what charges are appropriate and also what penalties should apply.

The weight of the drugs involved

The final major consideration will be how much of a prescription medication someone has in their possession. Possession of less than one gram of fentanyl is a state jail felony, but possession of four grams is a second-degree felony. Higher weights trigger more serious charges and more significant penalties.

Reviewing the details of the state’s case with an attorney can be helpful for those hoping to defend against pending prescription drug charges in Texas, as every case is ultimately unique and requires personalized guidance.