Taking prescription medication is not illegal as long as a person has a valid prescription and is taking the medication in the form and manner prescribed. However, there are several ways in which someone with prescription drugs could end up in trouble with law enforcement. In some cases, resulting allegations could even come in the form of felony federal charges.
Federal charges for any type of drug offense can come with hefty penalties that could leave you reeling in the event of a conviction. Of course, a conviction would have to take place before you could face sentencing for this type of crime. When it comes to federal drug charges relating to prescription drugs, trafficking those substances is the most likely way for those allegations to come about.
Trouble with prescription drugs
Unfortunately, though many people may begin taking certain prescription medications for a valid reason, some of those medications — opioid pain relievers in particular — can have addicting side effects. As a result, you or someone you know may have started taking pain relievers for chronic back problems or after suffering serious injuries in an accident, only to become addicted. From there, life could easily feel as if it spiraled out of control.
Though misdemeanor and lesser felony prescription drug charges do exist, trafficking these drugs can lead to mandatory legal repercussions after a conviction. Some possible consequences of these federal charges include the following:
- Court fines that can range from $100,000 to $5 million, depending on various factors
- Prison time that could range from 1 to 20 years for first-time offenders
- Increased fines of up to $10 million for repeat trafficking offenders
- Maximum prison time of 30 years for repeat offenders
If authorities believe that you possessed a significant amount of a prescription medication without a valid prescription or that you conducted drug-related transactions across state lines, you could face federal prescription drug trafficking charges.
Defending against allegations
In situations involving federal charges, thoroughly exploring available defense options is essential. You undoubtedly do not want to allow lack of information or a misstep to result in your facing such serious consequences. Fortunately, you have the right to create and present a criminal defense presentation if you wish to do so, and you could utilize local Mississippi legal resources to gain reliable information on your rights and options.