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Proven Criminal Defense In Upstate New York

What happens if you’re caught with an unauthorized prescription?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Drug Charges |

In New York, it’s illegal to possess prescription drugs that are not yours. This is considered a serious offense that can carry harsh penalties. This is what to know about unauthorized possession of prescribed drugs.

Unauthorized possession of prescription drugs

You can face drug charges for knowingly and intentionally possessing prescription drugs that are not yours. Those classified as Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances are particularly serious due to their higher risk of abuse.

Per New York’s laws, it’s a crime to have any prescription drugs in your possession if the prescription does not belong to you. Depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

In some cases, it’s possible to face charges when someone else shares their prescription drugs with a person. You can also be charged for illegally buying prescription drugs from someone or if you obtain a doctor’s prescription pad and write out an illegal prescription.

Penalties for unauthorized possession of prescription drugs

If a person is convicted of a seventh-degree misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of prescription drugs, they could face up to one year in jail. However, if the possession included the intent to sell those substances, the charges are elevated to a felony, which can include up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $300,000.

Possessing and trafficking a prescription drug are also felonies and include harsh penalties even for a first offense. Those penalties include a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a maximum fine of $10 million.

Defenses for drug possession charges

A solid defense is necessary in a case involving unlawful possession of prescription drugs. If you have a valid prescription for the drug, you can’t be charged with illegal possession, and the judge would have to dismiss the case. Unlawful search and seizure is a defense that applies when the police uncover drugs without a warrant or consent to conduct the search.

Drug charges can shatter lives, but mistakes happen. You have the right to protect your reputation and freedom.