Do you or someone you know in Kentucky take medication for a chronic pain condition or illness? Physicians in this state and throughout the country write billions of prescriptions each year. In many cases, it is illegal to take a particular drug without a prescription. Furthermore, you cannot take a drug from a prescription that a doctor wrote for someone else. If you do, you might wind up facing charges for drug crimes in court.
If you have prescription drugs in your possession, you must have a valid prescription on record for them. Otherwise, you might commit a drug offense. It is also unlawful to have more of a specific type of drug in your possession than your prescription calls for, such as having 50 tablets of a narcotic in a vial from a prescription written for 25 tablets. Penalties under conviction for prescription drug crimes are severe and often include substantial fines and jail time.
Prescription drug crimes may fall under misdemeanor or felony categories
It’s typically the amount of a controlled substance that elevates a drug crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. If the court convicts you of a felony crime, you will lose certain freedoms and liberties, such as your voting privileges and the right to possess firearms. In some cases, a criminal court judge might order a defendant to enter a drug rehabilitation program as part of sentencing when a conviction is handed down for prescription drug crimes.
Many prescription drugs are highly addictive
Drugs that one cannot dispense without a prescription from a licensed physician are often medications that can cause addiction. Such drugs include opioid painkillers, stimulants and antipsychotic medications. Because of the effects such drugs have on people, many prescription medications are hot commodities on the street. Even people who are taking prescription drugs under the supervision of a physician may become addicted to them.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has stated that more than 11 million people in the U.S. (no doubt including some in Kentucky) misuse prescription drugs. Criminal charges may be filed for unlawful possession, use or distribution of prescription medications.
Facing charges for unlawful use of prescription drugs
You cannot share your prescription drugs with other people. You cannot sell such drugs, either. You also cannot take prescription drugs someone has shared with you or offered to sell to you. Additional issues could land you in a heap of legal trouble regarding prescription drugs, as well, such as accusations of forging a prescription.
Facing charges in Kentucky court for prescription drug crimes is a stressful and sometimes frightening experience. You do not have to navigate the criminal justice system alone, however, because you’re entitled to legal support.