Prescription Drugs Crimes in Texas
Texas Drug Defense Lawyer
In Texas, as with many other states throughout the country, offenses associated with prescription drugs have increased in recent years. The state of Texas has been working to decrease these cases by implementing stricter laws and through the creation of monitoring programs.
General Understanding About Prescription Drugs in Texas
To understand the laws in the state, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the distribution of prescription drugs and how they may be used in an unlawful manner.
In Texas, there are only a limited number of individuals who may write prescriptions. These individuals include doctors, dentists, podiatrists, and veterinarians. Other medical professionals may prescribe certain drugs in limited circumstances, as well.
State law holds that the Texas Board of Health may hold public hearings regarding whether there is any compelling evidence which finds that a dangerous drug has been abused. This abuse may be completed through a prescription that is written for a non-therapeutic purpose or by the subsequent user.
When this finding has been made by the Board, it may limit the drug’s availability by allowing its dispensing by only a certain class of practitioner. A similar policy is in place for drugs determined to be an immediate danger to public health. The commissioner of health has the power to generally limit the availability of this dangerous drug.
What Must a Pharmacist do to Obey the Laws?
A pharmacist is expected to determine whether a prescription written for a dangerous drug is truly a valid prescription. A pharmacist may not dispense a dangerous drug if she knows or should have known that the prescription was issued without a valid patient-practitioner relationship.
What Are the Potential Charges for Prescription Drug Crimes in Texas?
According to Texas state law, an individual commits an offense if that individual possesses a dangerous drug unless the person has obtained the drug through a pharmacist who has acted in a lawful manner. Furthermore, an individual commits an offense if the individual has possession of the dangerous drug and has the intent to sell the drug. An offense related to this section of the law will usually result in a Class A misdemeanor.
An individual will likely face a State Jail felony charge if she delivers or offers delivery of a dangerous drug. To get a conviction under this section, the prosecution must show proof that there was an offer to sell a dangerous drug and that it was corroborated by a person other than the offeree or by evidence other than a statement of the offeree.
If an individual, who is not otherwise authorized to do so, manufactures a dangerous drug, he will most likely be charged with a State Jail felony.
In addition, an offense has been committed when an individual:
- Forges a prescription or increases the prescribed quantity;
- Issues a prescription with a false signature;
- Attempts to obtain a dangerous drug with a false prescription;
- Obtains or attempts to obtain a dangerous drug through a fraudulent phone call; or
- Possesses a dangerous drug obtained through a fraudulent phone call.
Generally, these offenses will result in the individual being charged with a Class B misdemeanor. However, if the individual has been previously convicted of this type of offense, he will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Also, a pharmacist will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if he:
- Delivers a dangerous drug under a prescription; and
- Fails to retain the prescription as required by law.
If the pharmacist has been convicted of this crime in the past, the charge will be adjusted to a Class A misdemeanor.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Charges associated with prescription drugs are serious and can result in severe penalties. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney who will help you with your case.
Texas Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Offenses
Sex Offender Rights: How Texas Sex Offender Registration Works
Get a free consultation
Sign up to our newsletter and get the latest tips