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



    prescription drugs

    In recent years, prescription drug abuse and sales have become a significant concern in New York. In the United States, it’s illegal to possess or consume a prescription medication that you have no prescription for. Outside the doctor-pharmacist prescription system, distributing, selling, or sharing any prescription is illegal, regardless of your intentions. While it’s perfectly legal for you to take your medication, the same drug becomes an illegal controlled substance once you place it in anyone’s hands but your own. This means if you try to help your friend who is in pain by giving them your prescription drugs, it could make you guilty of distributing prescription medications without proper documentation. This can result in a series of legal consequences, including significant monetary fines, jail time, and a life-long criminal record. If you’ve been caught with prescription drugs without the appropriate prescription, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced Garden City, NY, Prescription Drug Possession Lawyer who can help you fight your charges. 

    How Are Controlled Substances Classified?

    Like many other states, New York divides controlled substances into five categories called “schedules.”  Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous, as they have a high probability of abuse and no recognized medical value. Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and some medical value. According to the federal government, depending on the rate of abuse and the medical value, prescription drugs can range from Schedule II to Schedule IV.

    What Are the Penalties For Drug Possession Without a Valid Prescription?

    As mentioned above, it’s illegal to possess a prescription drug without a valid prescription. The Criminal Diversion Act covers the transfer of a prescription drug in exchange for anything. The most common charge for this crime is simple possession in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. A fourth-degree offense is punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and jail time for up to one year. If you have been caught in possession of prescription drugs for which you do not have a valid prescription for a second time, and the monetary value of the drugs exceeds $1,000, you will be guilty of an act of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third-degree. This is a Class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in jail. If the monetary value of the drugs exceeds $3,000, it’s considered a second-degree offense. This is a Class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years in jail. Finally, those found with over $50,000 of drugs will face a first-degree charge. This is a Class C felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

    If you’re facing criminal charges for the illegal possession of prescription drugs, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled lawyer from the legal team at Grunwald & Seman, P.C., who can help guide you through your legal options and defend your rights.

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