Is It Illegal to Possess Certain Drugs Without a Valid Prescription?

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drugs without valid prescription

There are certain drugs that can be prescribed for medical reasons that you are not supposed to posses otherwise. This is why being found with specific pharmaceuticals in your possession but no valid prescription can lead to legal trouble. If you have been accused of possession or distribution, you are going to need some assistance defending yourself. You should talk to a Bergen County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What Drugs Are Illegal to Possess Without a Valid Prescription?

Essentially, it is against the law to possess any drugs that are classified as Schedule I, II, III, or IV without a valid prescription from a licensed doctor. You can also be penalized for having a Schedule V drug that you do not have a prescription for, but the penalties for this are usually less harsh. The federal government sets the “schedule” for a drug. The higher it is on their list, the harsher the punishments someone can face for possession.

Some Schedule II, III, IV, and V drugs do have medical uses, but they require a valid prescription. When you have the drug but no prescription, that can cause legal problems for you. Some drugs that might lead to legal trouble include:

  • Sedatives like Xanax, Ambien, or Valium
  • Opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin
  • Cough medicines that contain opioids like Codeine
  • Stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall
  • Anabolic steroids and testosterone

Obviously, there can be good reasons why someone would need some of the above drugs. They should be using them with the advice of a doctor though. Using them without a prescription or for recreation can lead to jail time.

What is the Punishment for Possession Without a Valid Prescription?

What kinds of punishments you can face for prescription drug charges will depend on the schedule of the drug and how many doses you have in your possession. This is a general guideline:

  • Disorderly persons offense: four or fewer doses
  • Fourth degree crime: Five to 100 doses
  • Third degree crime: More than 100 doses

Of course, charges can get more serious depending on the drugs involved and any other crimes you are accused of. Some people end up with probation. Others spend five or more years in prison and pay fines ranging from $15,000 to $35,000. So it’s important to get the advice of an attorney and figure out how to defend yourself.

Can I Be Accused of Other Crimes?

Your case can get more complicated if you are accused of other crimes. Other potential offenses include:

  • Doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Altering valid prescriptions
  • Using a fake prescription pad
  • Falsely claiming a medical need for drugs

Contact Our Law Firm

You should not go to jail over a mistake or understanding. Contact the Law Office of Body & Squitieri to schedule a consultation with our team. We would be happy to tell you more about how we can be of assistance.