It seems innocuous enough-taking a pill out of a friend or family member’s medicine cabinet. Since the medicine is coming from a house and not from the street, many people don’t even realize its against the law-not just state law but also federal law. As a result, people end up facing serious consequences.
Prescription drugs are considered controlled substances. This is in comparison with other medicines that considered over-the-counter and be purchased without a medical professional signing off on the prescription. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act have made it illegal for anyone to access a prescription drug without a written prescription. Additionally, if the doctor has prescribed too much medicine or has prescribed the medicine knowing its going to be resold, the medical practitioner can also be held legally liable.
Depending on the type of substance involved, there are also limitations on the number of times a prescription can be refilled. For example, no prescription of a Schedule II substance cane be refilled, but Schedule III and Schedule IV substances can be refilled within six months of the original prescription or not more than five times after the date of prescription unless renewed.
Understanding the law is one way to make sure one follows it, but when someone is charged for committing a drug crime they no longer have time on their side-the quicker they begin defending themselves the better it is. They may want to consult an experienced attorney to determine if they actually broke the law and how to go about clearing their name.