Is It Illegal to Possess Certain Drugs Without a Valid Prescription in Texas?

various pills on table

When most people think of drug charges, their mind immediately turns to marijuana, heroin, or cocaine. Very few realize they may face criminal charges when in possession of prescription pills if they do not have a valid prescription. If you were caught with these substances, understanding what comes next is critical. You should not underestimate the importance of connecting with an experienced Houston drug crimes defense attorney who can examine your circumstances and help you through the criminal justice system.

What Happens if You’re Found With Drugs Without a Valid Prescription?

If you have drugs on your person that do not have a valid prescription, you can, under Texas law, face a possession of a controlled substance charge.

These medications generally fall under the category of Schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs. This schedule is how Texas classifies controlled substances. It’s important to understand that Schedule II through V drugs are medically accepted. However, if you do not have a prescription or one that is expired, you can face charges. These drugs include, but are by no means limited to the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Ritalin

If you are caught with Schedule I drugs, you will automatically face criminal charges, as there is no valid and accepted medical use for these substances.

Additionally, the penalties you will face depend on how much of the drug is in your possession and what schedule you are in possession of. Generally, for Schedule II drugs, for example, anything under one gram is a minimum of six months in jail as a state jail felony, while anything over 1 gram can warrant a felony with the potential for two years to life in prison, depending on how much of the substance was in your possession.

Are There Any Defenses for This Offense?

If you are arrested and accused of possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription, it’s in your best interest to take these charges seriously. Unfortunately, many underestimate the severity of this crime and how intensely Texas will punish these crimes.

One defense many rely on is that they have a valid prescription. Generally, many people, especially those who travel, will put their pills in smaller containers, like a “seven-day” pill box. However, if your drugs are not in the original container, you can be arrested. If you can prove that you have a prescription, you’ll find that the charges will likely be dropped and you will not face a conviction. To avoid issues, you should keep copies of the prescriptions on you at all times.

Another potential defense is that you did not know you were in possession of the drugs at the time. For example, if you are traveling with another person and they put their pill bottle in your bag without telling you, and you are arrested, you may be able to prove that you did not know you had the substances on your person.

When you are facing legal trouble, the Gonzalez Law Group is here to help. Our dedicated team understands how overwhelming it can be to face these charges. As such, we are dedicated to helping you through these challenging times. We will explore all possible defenses to help you fight for freedom. Connect with us today to learn more.