Prescription drug crimes: It’s easy to get into trouble

You’re not just hurting a little, you hurt a lot. Maybe you have a prescription for pain medication — or did — but it ran out long before you stopped hurting. Or, maybe you don’t have insurance right now and can’t afford to see a doctor about your pain.

Out of desperation, you borrowed or bought a few pills that a neighbor or friend had left over from a prescription of their own. You don’t feel like that makes you a criminal, by any means  — but the state would disagree.

Possession of prescription drugs that aren’t your own is illegal

Drug crimes come in all different sizes and shapes — but having even a single prescription pill that isn’t prescribed to you in your possession is a serious crime in Texas.

In Texas, the illegal possession of opioids — which include painkillers like codeine, oxycontin and even Tylenol 3 — are treated as “Penalty Group 1.” If you’re convicted of the offense, you face a minimum of 180 days in jail, a maximum of two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

However, the bad news doesn’t stop there. You could be charged with multiple offenses based on the number of pills in your possession. Alternately, your charges could be elevated based on other factors, like cash that was found in your possession at the time or any past convictions on your record.

Don’t try to talk your way out of trouble

One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you’re caught with a few pain pills that aren’t your own is to try to explain what’s going on and hope that the officer will cut you a break. They will not — and you will be handing them a lot of information they can use to convict you.

Exercise your right to remain silent and call an experienced Longview defense attorney right away. That’s the best way to start your defense and understand the challenges you may face.