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The illegality of giving away prescription drugs

| Jul 20, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Many people don’t intend to break the law, but they do. Someone telling law enforcement that he or she didn’t know he or she committed a crime won’t likely sway their decisions about making an arrest. People who give away prescription drugs may find themselves in an Indiana criminal court for their actions.

As the name implies, prescription drugs require a prescription to be possessed legally. Also, only a qualified physician can prescribe specific drugs to individuals to treat an ailment. Anyone who decides to give away or sell prescription drugs to another person could be committing a serious crime.

Assumptions that doing so is acceptable because no money changed hands, or the person took a similar prescription in the past won’t work. The law clearly defines criminal statutes regarding the use, possession, sale and distribution of prescription drugs.

Other factors come into play. Was the prescription medication a controlled substance? What was the quantity of drugs? While a crime may still occur, the seriousness of the charges could impact how the prosecutor sees things. Giving someone two antibiotic tablets probably won’t likely be as severe as giving away 200 tablets of oxycontin. The particulars factor into whether the crime is a minor misdemeanor or a serious felony. However, one shouldn’t dismiss the seriousness of a misdemeanor, though. Fines and jail time can accompany a guilty verdict.

Anyone charged with drug crimes may find speaking with a criminal defense attorney worthwhile. A lawyer could explore a person’s options for getting misdemeanor charges dismissed or withdrawn depending on various factors. When facing felony charges, adequate representation could help keep someone away from a lengthy prison term. Plea bargaining could support such a cause.

An attorney may explore other matters related to the case. Did the sale or distribution of the drugs involve entrapment? Did the accused actually possess the drugs? Such questions often become important ones to ask.