Certain prescription drugs have a high potential for abuse, and many people find themselves addicted to pills. When someone does not have a valid prescription for pills in their possession, they could face criminal charges. Of course, the state must prove its case based on statutes defining drug possession.
The possession of prescription drugs
The number of people abusing opioids has been estimated at more than 11 million, and the figure represents an epidemic. Many times, people become addicted to opioids after suffering a physical injury leaving them in pain. They may abuse the drug by seeking additional pills far beyond the amount prescribed for therapeutic reasons.
Painkillers represent one category of prescription drugs, and stimulants, depressants and others comprise additional categories. Regardless of the specific drug or the circumstances surrounding someone’s addiction, illegally possessing prescription drugs remains a crime. Anyone caught could face fines and jail time.
An individual struggling with a prescription pill addiction might also sell the drugs. The sales could fund the acquisition of more drugs and may lead someone to face more serious charges and potentially harsher sentencing.
Prescription pills and legal troubles
Possession charges typically involve finding drugs on someone’s person or under a person’s control. So, someone might not have drugs in their pocket, but they control access to drugs in their car’s trunk.
A criminal defense strategy might look at the circumstances surrounding the possession charge. If the person did not know drugs were in their car or home, the possession charge might be weak. Lack of knowledge about the drugs’ presence indicates the drugs likely belong to someone else.
Constitutional rights issues may arise. If the police lacked probable cause or, in some cases, a warrant, any evidence they obtain might be illegal. Charges could then end up dismissed.