You have a medical condition that you take medicine for, and you think nothing about stashing a few pills in your pocket or a toiletry bag when leaving the house. Recently, police found you with your medication on you and charged you with a drug crime. What do you do now? 

The Recovery Village offers insight into potential defenses. Find out how to protect your rights. 

Prescription drugs out of their original bottle  

When outside their original bottle with the medication label, police classify prescription medication as “improperly stored.” This can result in misdemeanor charges, financial penalties and jail time. Because you already face criminal charges, turn to your physician and pharmacist to understand how you can build a defense and prove the medication is yours. 

Prescription drugs in the bottle 

If you routinely carry a few pills with you when you leave the house, keep them in their original bottle with the proper prescription label. This way, even if the police find the medication on you, they can see your identification information, the medication dosage, the prescription name, your physician’s information and additional details that verify the prescription. It may be cumbersome to always carry your medication with you in its original bottle, but doing so could help you avoid a great deal of legal trouble. 

Prescription drugs that are not yours 

What if an officer finds prescription medication on your person that you do not have a prescription for? Even if you intend to use the prescription as medically intended to treat a health condition, being caught with another’s medication is against the law. Depending on the drug, you may face felony prosecution and penalties. 

Tread carefully about taking medication outside your home. Even with a prescription, you may still face drug charges. 

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