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2 life-altering charges you can face if you share your medication

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2022 | Criminal Defense

It’s a common misconception that prescription medication is safer to abuse than prohibited drugs because it is theoretically legal. However, prescription medication can absolutely lead to drug charges, especially if you share it with other people. Your medication may belong to you once you pay for it at the pharmacy, but you don’t have the right to do whatever you want with it.

Many people who run afoul of controlled substances laws in Florida do not have criminal intentions. They paid for a prescription medication and didn’t use it all, and they don’t want to see that investment go to waste. Whether they have a co-worker who offered to buy the remainder of their medication or a family member with a similar medical condition, they may think nothing of passing their unused pills to someone else.

Unfortunately, doing that puts someone at risk of two different kinds of criminal charges.

Transferring medication is drug trafficking

Although you may think of drug trafficking as a highly-organized criminal endeavor to create and distribute illegal drugs like methamphetamine, the state can also charge you with drug trafficking simply for transferring medication to someone else.

There doesn’t need to be any proof that you profited from the transaction. Even when there is no financial gain involved in the transfer, the person who gives away their medication to someone else could face the same charges as a career drug dealer.

You might face homicide charges

Murder is one of the most serious crimes possible, and murder charges are usually the result of someone intentionally causing harm to another person. Murder in the first degree means causing someone’s death after planning for it beforehand.

However, Florida state law has a separate, special definition of first-degree murder that includes overdose deaths. The state can charge you with a homicide offense if you are the one who sold or gave medication to someone who then died because they consumed it. The theoretical legality of the prescription medication when you first obtain pills will not prevent the state from charging you with murder when someone takes the rest of your medication and dies.

Understanding the potential risks involved with sharing your prescription medication might help you avoid prescription drug charges in Florida.