Can I Be Arrested for Possession Prescription Drugs?

The state of Texas takes any drug possession very seriously. Prescription drug possession is a particularly high priority for any local law enforcement because even prescribed drugs can be dangerous and can lead to an overdose. Truthfully, you could even face criminal charges when the prescription drug is yours and was written for a medically valid cause. For example, you could face charges for the following:

  • Driving under the influence of a prescription drug, even if it is your legally obtained prescription
  • Fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs
  • Forging a prescription
  • Selling prescription drugs
  • “Doctor shopping,” or visiting multiple doctors to obtain different prescriptions
  • Your prescriptions are not in the original container (you cannot carry prescription pills in a pill box, even if they are your pills)

What are the Penalties for Illegal Prescription Drug Possession in Texas?

Prescription drug possession charges and penalties can vary based on several factors. This can include what drug you are accused of possessing or selling as well as how much you are caught with. In Texas, there are two penalty groups for the more dangerous drugs:

  • Penalty Group 1 – includes opiate substances, such as Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Dilaudid, Oxycodone, Percocet and other types of morphine or codeine prescriptions for pain. Illegal possession of Penalty Group 1 prescription drugs is always a felony and can include a minimum of 180 days of jail time to years in prison, depending on the amount. Additionally, it can include a $10,000 fine or more.
  • Penalty Group 2 – includes prescriptions containing Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, most commonly known as Adderall. Illegal possession of Penalty Group 2 prescription drugs is always a felony and can include a minimum of 180 days of jail time to years in prison, depending on the amount. Additionally, it can include a $10,000 fine or more.
  • Penalty Group 3 – includes Valium, Xanax, Ritalin and sometimes can include prescriptions of the drugs listed in Penalty Groups 1 and 2 in fractional amounts (like prescription cough syrup). Illegal possession of Penalty Group 3 prescription drugs in small amounts is a Class A Misdemeanor and can include up to a year in jail and a maximum of a $4,000 fine. However, in larger amounts, possession of these types of drugs is a felony with much more serious consequences.
  • Penalty Group 4 – includes Soma, some antibiotics or even larger doses of Ibuprofen. In some cases, this can include prescriptions of the drugs listed in Penalty Groups 1 and 2 in fractional amounts (like lower doses of prescription cough syrup than Penalty Group 3). Illegal possession of Penalty Group 4 prescription drugs in small amounts is a Class A Misdemeanor and can include up to 180 days to a year in jail and a maximum of a $2,000 fine. However, in larger amounts, possession of these types of drugs is a felony with much more serious consequences.

If you have been accused of prescription drug possession, contact a Texas criminal defense lawyer immediately to determine your rights in the situation and build a defense for your drug charge.

The Goolsby Law Firm is a Dallas criminal defense law firm that fights to protect your rights in court. Mike Goolsby is a former prosecutor and understands the ins and outs of the Texas legal system.



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