Prescription drugs are legally available to the public only with the recommendation of a physician. Despite strict laws controlling various medications, people often assume that they can do whatever they want after they obtain a prescription medication from a pharmacy. However, a noteworthy percentage of the drug charges brought in Texas each year involve prescription medications. Prescriptions drugs that people most commonly face charges for include ADHD medications, benzodiazepines, ketamine and opioids.
The reality is that restrictions around prescription drugs mean that people can face criminal charges for various types of behavior that may seem innocent at first glance. For example, the following actions may violate Texas state law and result in criminal charges:
Transferring medication to others
Only licensed medical professionals can dispense or transfer controlled substances. If you do not need all of your prescription medication, you are not legally allowed to sell or otherwise transfer your surplus medication to others. Anyone caught giving away or selling prescribed medications to others could face drug distribution charges under Texas laws. If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute prescription drugs, you should get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Driving while medicated
Quite a few different medications can affect someone’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Any medication that affects someone’s consciousness, muscle control or cognitive function could make them unsafe drivers. The state can prosecute individuals for impaired driving with any detectable amount of certain controlled substances in their bloodstreams. It won’t matter if people claim to have a tolerance for that medication. Driving while impaired by a prescription drug often does lead to criminal charges.
Obtaining medication from unlicensed sources
Restrictions on where and how people obtain prescription medications help ensure that a professional reviews the medication and properly dispenses it. But in many cases, a doctor may end the prescription, and the patient may feel as though they still require the medication and therefore will seek out alternate sources. The act of acquiring a medication on the unregulated market could lead to criminal charges.
For more on defense against drug charges in Texas, please see our overview of charges related to drug manufacturing, delivery and possession with intent.