The government controls access to prescription medications because of the risk they pose to the public. Every medication comes with some degree of risk, and proper medical oversight is crucial to ensure someone’s safety while taking medication and the safety of the general public.
Although someone with a prescription from their doctor in theory has the legal right to possess and use a medication, they might still find themselves facing criminal charges in some situations. Those who misuse medication or transfer it to others are at risk of criminal prosecution if they get caught.
Certain kinds of medications have a much stronger association with criminal charges than others. What kinds of medications might lead to someone’s arrest and prosecution?
Medications that affect cognition and motor function
There are many drugs that affect your brain or your control of your body. These drugs are illegal to use before you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Most of them have clear labeling indicating as much. Those who choose to drive after taking certain prescription medication could end up arrested for impaired driving.
Drugs with a high likelihood of abuse
Some medications pursued produce effects that people find enjoyable and which therefore open the door to intentional abuse. For example, drug makers have had to reformulate certain sleep aids because they would result in an impaired state if someone managed to stay awake after taking the medication initially.
Police officers are much more likely to be skeptical about someone’s questionable possession of a medication if that medication is known to be a drug people intentionally misuse, like stimulants and narcotics.
Drugs that lead to addiction
As with drugs that people frequently abuse for recreational purposes, there are many drugs that people will find addictive or habit farming. Not only will some people continue to purchase these medications on the unregulated market after their prescription runs out, but they might commit secondary crimes to obtain the medication that they abuse.
Although prescription medication is legal when used appropriately, people do get arrested because of prescription medications frequently. Understanding what might make officers suspect you of a drug crime can help you better reframe the circumstances of your arrest in your criminal defense strategy.