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Sharing your leftover medication could lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Drug Crimes

Modern medical care isn’t cheap. You have to pay to see a doctor when you need help with a diagnosis or in obtaining treatment. You may also need to pay out-of-pocket for the medication your doctor prescribes.

If you don’t need all of the medication that you already paid for and picked up at the pharmacy, you may decide to hold on to that extra medication. Getting rid of it when you no longer need it may be a smarter choice, as you could face legal trouble if you later give that medication to someone or they steal it and use it without your permission.

Only the person with the prescription can possess a medication

Federal and California state controlled substances laws are clear. It is only legal to possess controlled substances, like narcotic painkillers, with a valid prescription. It’s only legal to use them in accordance with a doctor’s recommendations. Keeping medications so that you can or someone else could use them in the future might lead to criminal charges.

The act of transferring them to someone else, even without financial compensation, is a crime. Even if you don’t get caught in the act, if the other person gets caught in possession of your medication, the police could potentially charge you as well. Properly securing your medication and disposing of it when you no longer have a need for it could help you avoid mistakes with criminal consequences. 

Understanding the seriousness of the charges against you is important, as is exploring the impact of a conviction so that you can effectively fight back. Seeking guidance from a criminal defense attorney in California when facing drug charges can help you respond to accusations and protect your future.