Posted on 9/19/22

The opioid epidemic continues to be a serious problem in Texas and the country. Thousands of people die yearly from opioid-related overdoses, leading lawmakers and law enforcement officers to take opioid medication violations seriously. Individuals who share their prescription medication with friends or family can face harsh penalties under state and federal drug laws. They could even be considered dealers or suppliers, resulting in even harsher penalties.

Sharing Prescription Medication

Many believe that since they have paid for their prescription medication, they have the right to share it and do whatever they want with it. If a family member is experiencing pain, they may think they have a right to give the family member a pill to help them. However, under Texas law, people can only use prescription medication according to the physician’s instructions. Any off-label prescription use, including giving or selling medication to other people, could result in significant criminal charges. 

Popular Prescription Medications on the Black Market

Texas prosecutors take the distribution of controlled substances seriously, even when a person thinks they were just helping a friend. There is a range of prescribed medications that have strong secondary markets. Many of the following controlled substances are commonly given to friends and family members or sold to other people:

  • Ritalin

  • Adderall

  • Morphine

  • Codeine

  • Oxycodone

  • Hydrocodone

  • Fentanyl

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Viagra

The Penalties for Giving Away Prescription Medication

You do not have to sell your lawfully prescribed medication to be charged with a crime in Texas. Even if you give the medication to someone you care about for free, you can still be convicted of a drug crime. If the person who takes your medication hears someone else or drives while under the influence of the medication, the chances of you being charged will increase. You can face criminal charges even if you only gave your friend one of your prescription pills. When law enforcement discovers that a person gave or sold medication to another person, they can charge that person with the delivery of a controlled substance.

Delivery of a controlled substance is considered a state jail felony that carries harsh minimum and maximum penalties, depending on the weight of the controlled substance involved. The minimum sentence is 180 days in jail with a fine of up to $10,000. The maximum penalty for someone who delivers 400 or more grams of a controlled substance is life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Discuss Your Case with a Drug Defense Attorney

As you can see, the penalties for giving away prescriptions to a loved one are serious. You could face jail time, significant fines, and a permanent criminal record. The sooner you discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better. Failing to discuss your case with an attorney could cost you years of your life and thousands of dollars. Reach out to Abel Law Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options. 

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