There are countless reasons why you could come to possess someone else’s medications. Perhaps your friend felt like they were becoming dependent on a medication prescribed by their doctor, and they asked you to hold on to them to keep them out of the house. Maybe you used a similar medication in the past, and your friend or family member generously agreed to give you the remainder of an unused prescription.
You could even have a neighbor or coworker who worries that their children or spouse will abuse the medication if it gets left in their home. There are many possible scenarios in which you could wind up with someone’s medications for perfectly innocent reasons.
Unfortunately, regardless of how you attempt to downplay the situation, law enforcement officers likely won’t see the situation as innocent. In fact, if you get caught in possession of someone else’s medication in Texas, you will likely find yourself subject to immediate arrest. The end result is probably going to be serious criminal charges.
Controlled substances include many prescription medications in Texas
The state of Texas has a very thorough, nearly exhaustive, list of controlled substances. Any medication on any of the different schedules could carry consequences. In fact, even your own medication, if stored improperly or used contrary to a doctor’s orders, could results in criminal charges.
You should never assume that your possession of a medication is acceptable if you aren’t the person who received the prescription. Instead, you should assume the opposite. The best way to keep yourself safe is to never store or transport prescribed medication for someone else. Medications ranging from opioid painkillers to psychiatric medication are on the schedule of controlled substances.
The schedule of the medication affects the consequences
The lower the schedule number of the medication in question, the more significant the potential penalties and consequences. Medications with less potential for abuse will carry lower penalties than those that people frequently misuse and become addicted to.
For many people, the resulting charges for possession of prescribed drugs will be Class B or Class A misdemeanor charges, which could mean up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. In addition to schedule classification, the overall weight of the medication will also impact the legal situation you face.
The sooner you strategize for a defense, the better
There are many potential options available for those facing criminal charges related to controlled substances. Diversion to drug court could be one option. Pursuing a complex defense strategy can also be an option.
Depending on the amount of medication and the type of pill in question, you could face felony charges. Working with a criminal defense attorney is the best way to minimize the impact of the allegations related to possession of a controlled substance in Texas.