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Prescription Drugs

Crystal Lake Prescription Drug Possession Lawyers

Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas

Possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription is a serious crime in Illinois. Exactly how serious the consequences are will depend on the type of drug and the quantity. Possession of prescription drugs is different from most crimes in that those charged with and convicted of the crime often have no criminal history.

Many people violate the law against possession of prescription drugs without a prescription without even realizing it. Imagine, for example, that you’re out with a friend and mention that you have a severe headache. Your friend happens to have prescription migraine medication in her purse and offers you a pill. If you accept the medication, you and your friend have each committed a crime. Depending on the type of medication, you may have committed a felony.

Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Another common scenario involves people who have been treated for serious injuries, anxiety, or other conditions with addictive drugs. Through no fault of their own, some of these people become addicted to the drug during treatment, and so seek out alternative sources when the underlying medical need passes and the drug is no longer legally available.

Some of the most common prescription drugs that trigger addiction and subsequent illegal use include:

Prescription Sedatives

Prescription sedatives and anti-anxiety medications that are commonly abused include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Phenobarbital

Prescription Pain Killers

Prescription pain killers that can lead to addiction and subsequent abuse include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Codeine
  • Vicodin
  • Demerol
  • Darvocet

Prescription Stimulants

Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are abused in a number of contexts, such as by long-distance drivers who want to stay awake and students who believe that the stimulants give them an edge in studying.

Addiction is a serious medical and psychological issue, and causes many people to behave in ways that are completely outside their norms. These may include illegally purchasing prescription drugs, forging prescriptions, and stealing prescription drugs.

Penalties for Prescription Drug Possession

The penalties for possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription in Illinois depend on the Schedule on which the drug appears and the quantity possessed. However, with very few exceptions, possession of any amount of prescription medication without a valid prescription can result in a felony conviction and a significant prison sentence.

Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) Program

Many people who are arrested for unauthorized possession of prescription medications are struggling with addiction, which was often triggered by legitimate use of the drug after a serious injury. People charged with possession of controlled substances who have dependency issues may be eligible for participation in the TASC program.

While sentencing under TASC is within the judge’s discretion, the technical requirements to be considered for the program are simple:

  • The defendant must be at least 18 years of age
  • The defendant must be facing nonviolent felony charges
  • The defendant must have a substance abuse problem that requires clinical intervention

Charges Related to Prescription Drug Possession

Many acts involved in obtaining prescription drugs without a valid prescription are themselves crimes under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. A person may be convicted of unauthorized possession of prescription form, a Class 4 felony, if he or she:

  • alters a properly issued prescription form
  • possesses without authorization a blank prescription form or counterfeit prescription form, or
  • possesses a prescription form not issued by a licensed prescriber

Additional Consequences Associated with Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs

In addition to prison sentences ranging from one to 60 years in prison, a conviction for unauthorized possession of prescription drugs may have significant consequences such as:

  • Significant fines
  • Limitations on employment opportunities
  • Disqualification from some government benefits

Get Help from an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Unauthorized possession of even a small quantity of prescription drugs can have significant consequences that will impact every area of your life. If you’ve been charged under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, educate yourself about your options and possible defenses right now by scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced drug possession attorneys.