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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Can having someone else's prescription land you in jail?

You have had a difficult time sleeping now that you switched your work shift to nights. You come home, your mind racing and with the sun blazing through the windows, it is proving too difficult to get the shuteye your body needs.

Your friend gave you his prescription for sleeping pills which help him. There is no harm in taking a few home, right? Before you pocket those pills, you should know you can get in real trouble for having them.

The police can charge you depending on the circumstances

If the police stop you while you have someone else's prescription medication on your person, they may charge you with a misdemeanor. The officer makes the decision based on the type of drug you have, how much of it you have and the circumstances around the prescription. For instance, if you just got your mother's blood pressure medication from the drugstore, the police will most likely let you go. However, if instead of blood pressure medication it was something like Oxycodone, you may have to take a ride downtown. This is because Oxycodone is a controlled substance under federal law. People often wind up abusing these types of drugs and become addicted.

Possession is narrowly defined

The police find the pills your friend gave you and charge you with possession. When your case comes up on the court docket, the prosecutor has to prove that you had the drugs on your person or in close proximity and that you knew that they were there and what they do. During the conversation, you may tell the police about your difficulty sleeping and your friend's offer of the pills. This is proof that you knew you had the drugs and you intended on using them.

Possession of another's prescription medication is a misdemeanor in California. If you find yourself in this situation, you should not speak to the police without an attorney present.

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