Can I Face Criminal Charges for Being in Possession of a Prescription Medication that Is Not Prescribed to Me?

I was pulled over by the police, and they found medication in the car. I got the pills from a friend who has a prescription, but the prescription is not in my name. I’m taking the medication to treat a health condition I have. Can I face criminal liability for this?

prescription drugs

Yes. As most people are aware, under Florida Statute 893.13 it is illegal to have a controlled substance in your possession unless that controlled substance is prescribed to you by a licensed practitioner providing you with medical treatment.  Common controlled substances include but are not limited to amphetamines such as Adderall, benzodiazepines such a Xanax, and narcotics, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and morphine. Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. 

If law enforcement finds a controlled substance in your possession during a search of your vehicle, a possible defense that may be available to you is to have that evidence suppressed. Your attorney can request a suppression hearing to argue that the evidence obtained during the search was improperly obtained and should therefore not be used against you. Sometimes law enforcement may use illegitimate means to obtain evidence. Evidence that is not properly obtained in compliance with the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure then that evidence cannot be admitted. Most searches require a warrant, with a few exceptions. A warrant is not needed if consent to search is given, or if the evidence is in plain view of the officer. A warrant may also not be needed if exigent circumstances exist to justify law enforcement performing a search without a warrant. Examples of exigent circumstances may include immediate threats to a person’s safety that require intervention by law enforcement during which the evidence is found, law enforcement having knowledge that evidence is actively being destroyed, or a suspect fleeing from law enforcement. It can be difficult for the prosecution to establish that exigent circumstances existed if that is the basis for the search, so a skilled attorney can have evidence obtained under these circumstances suppressed.  If these key pieces of evidence are not admitted after a successful suppression hearing it is likely that charges may be dismissed.

Bottom line: If you are arrested for possession of prescription medication while driving a vehicle make sure the police conducted the investigation within the limits of the law.

Client Reviews

★★★★★

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
★★★★★
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECCOMEND. Marcela Giorgi
★★★★★
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
★★★★★
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink