Types of Prescription Drug Crimes

Just because prescription drugs can be bought over the counter doesn’t mean it is legal for everyone to use them. Prescription drugs are only authorized for people to whom they are prescribed, and the amount should only be within what is allowed by the prescription. That just means anyone who abuses, distributes, and uses drugs without a proper prescription can be arrested, pay fines, and be convicted for crimes. Most of these crimes will get you straight to prison.

Although not every state has a different law to address prescription drug use in the context of criminal aspect, they punish offenders who illegally use prescription drugs, as well as drug distribution, and illegal possession. If you are thinking that there is no harm in taking a pill from someone else’s pill bottle, think again because it might just get you in deep trouble.

Pain Med Mania

There was a time when prescription drug abuse wasn’t taken seriously and was seen as less criminal by the law. It was seen as something more innocent compared to buying of a controlled substance such as cocaine on the street. However, the mania for pain medications in some states grew quickly and spread until it can no longer be controlled. People started to use prescription drugs for recreational drugs.

A new kind of business bud because of the appetite for pain medications. Pain clinics began to prescribe medicines to patients even if they are not in pain. This business was dubbed as “pill mills.” People started to get arrested and convicted of felony drug trafficking and prescription drug overdose.

Possession, Distribution, and Use Crimes

Prescription drugs can get you in a lot of trouble if you don’t use it for the right purpose. There are many ways you can be convicted of a crime with the use and abuse of prescription meds. Regardless of your status, whether you are a dealer, a doctor, or an average person looking for pills that weren’t legally prescribed to you, you can be charged and convicted for the crime of possession, use of medications without a proper prescription, and illegal distribution of prescribed drugs. It is no secret to prosecutors that prescription drug abuse and use are rampant; that is why you cannot easily trick them by saying that medication is legal for someone because it was legitimately manufactured.

Different charges from illegal possession of prescription meds can arise in a wide range of context. It is like a search of your car at night which led the police to a bag of illegal marijuana which caused you imprisonment. A pill bottle can have the same effect if police find it in your possession. Don’t think they are unaware of what you could be doing with the pills. It may be a different drug, but the same system applies, so you can still get in trouble.


The first thing you should do if you or someone you know has been accused of a crime related to prescription drugs is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer; and if arrested, solicit the services of a bail agent. There are a lot of lawyers who offer a free or minimal fee for consultation, and they will be willing to help you in your case.

Some Examples of Prescription Drug Crimes

Prescription drugs are drugs that need written authorization from a practitioner before a patient can get access to them. Without proper permission, these drugs should not be sold or possessed by anyone. However, abuse of the prescription drug has become a big problem in the past years. Certain types of prescription drugs are considered as dangerous ass cocaine and heroin because like these two illegal drugs, they are stimulants or narcotics.

Here are some common scenarios of prescription drug crimes:

Possession of prescription drugs without a legitimate prescription or unauthorized possession of prescription acquired through fraud are considered illegal

Distribution or intent to distribute prescription drugs (this includes buying or selling prescription drugs online, or a pill mill)

Using force to rob pharmacies

Who Will be Held Liable for Prescription Drug Crimes?

In most cases, prescription drug crimes hold persons who use drugs illegally and those who acquire them in an illegal manner. People who resell them on the streets or the black market are also involved in the case of a prescription drug crime. But, they are not the only people who can be found guilty for the said crime. Medical professionals can also be convicted for the crime.

One example is if they are issuing wrong or fake prescription. If they are found guilty of prescribing these medicines, without the proper grounds, they will be held liable for a prescription drug crime. They can lose their license as well as face criminal penalties for their profession.

What Legal Penalties will Offenders Face for Prescription Drug Crimes?

The legal penalties for drug crimes depend on the type of crime involved as well as the drug used, and the amount being addressed. Crimes that include possessing drugs without prescription without the intention of distributing them may result in misdemeanor charges. You may be charged with fines and serve some time in prison.

For more serious crimes, it can result in felony charges. This can include possession of large amounts of drugs and distribution of prescription drugs. The fines can go as high as $10,000 and prison time can be up to 20 years. More severe penalties await offenders who keep doing the same crime. Crimes with violence involved will also have serious repercussions.

Other consequences can lead from drug crimes, including loss of the right to firearm possession. Cars that were used to transfer these drugs will also be confiscated.

Should I Hire an Attorney to Help Me with Prescription Drug Charges?

Cases that involve prescription drugs can be as severe as other cases that involve different types of drugs such as heroin and cocaine. It may be necessary for you to use the service of a qualified criminal lawyer if you have problems or legal issues related to prescription drug crimes. Find a criminal case attorney to help you with your concern. Your attorney can legally represent you in court if the need arises. Your lawyer will also provide you with the information you need about your rights, possible defenses, as well as your legal options.

Using Drugs Without a Prescription is Illegal

If you get pills from someone’s medicine cabinet and not from a street dealer, then you are not breaking the law. Wrong. A lot of people, including teens believe that sharing prescription medicines is legal, but this is not always the case.

Federal and state laws state that using and sharing prescription drugs is illegal. It is not only against the law to pass a pill prescribed for someone else, but it can also be dangerous.

Why Teens May Try Prescription Drugs

Teens abuse prescription drugs because of the notion that it is legal because they didn’t purchase it on the street. Also, it will be much easier for them to acquire these drugs in their medicine cabinet at home. There also think that because a doctor prescribes it, it is safer than those being sold on the streets.

In this time where there is a growing opioid epidemic, parents should do their best to stop their children from abusing prescription drugs. It should be treated with the same gravity as catching their children with marijuana or other illegal drugs.

Federal and State Prescription Drug Laws

Let’s be clear with this fact: prescription drugs are controlled substances. According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the only legitimate way to get prescription drugs is by getting a prescription from a doctor. Other than that, it shouldn’t be given or taken by anybody. According to the law, “no controlled substance may be distributed without a prescription from a doctor.”

It could still be considered a criminal act if the doctor prescribed too many pills or the amount is too much for one patient. Even without the knowledge if it is going to be resold or abused, it can still violate the law.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

There are states that make it illegal for anyone to carry around their prescription drugs under certain situations. For some states, bringing around pills that are not in prescription bottles is illegal.

The presumption is that is you are carrying your prescribed pill in your pocket or purse, and you will distribute them that is why it is illegal to bring them around that way, even if they are prescribed to you by your doctor. So if you don’t want to get in trouble, always put them in their prescription bottle.

When Prescription Drugs are Illegal

Whatever information other people try to feed you regarding using, sharing prescription drugs, always remember that having it without a proper prescription is just as bad as possessing marijuana. Both scenarios can get you in trouble. It is also dangerous to take drugs not prescribed to you. It could lead to numbers of detrimental effects on your body, and you have no idea what it can do to you.

The danger of taking prescription medications is not limited to making you sick, but can also put you in prison. Again, just because you got them somewhere legal, like your family’s medicine cabinet doesn’t mean they are legal.