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Sentences you may face if you share your prescription drugs

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If you take a prescription drug for a common medical ailment, you might know someone else that takes either the same thing or another comparable drug. If you've forgotten your prescription or you've been in a situation where your illness has struck at an inopportune moment, you might have even taken your friend or family member up on their offer of one of their pills in hopes that your condition would improve.

While accepting your friend or relative's offer might seem innocent enough, it unfortunately is not. If you happen to get caught having made such an offer to someone, it could result in you facing serious charges for having done so.

Even though your prescription was legally authorized by a doctor, it's important to remember that it was prescribed for your exclusive use. If an individual does not have a prescription for that exact drug or dosage, any consumption or possession of that drug is seen as being illegal.

As for the amount of trouble you may potentially face if caught having provided a friend or family member with your prescription drug, it is largely left up to the prosecutor's discretion. As for federal controlled substance laws, their guidelines suggest a 10- to 30-year prison term for the illegal possession or distribution of prescription drugs.

Alternatively, in some jurisdictions, drug courts have been set up and aimed at addressing issues involving either drug addiction or abuse. These generally operate independently of the portion of the criminal court system that traditionally handles more serious felony offenses.

In the case of these drug courts, offenders charged with nonviolent drug-related offenses may be required to complete either an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program or to follow through with other rehabilitative sentences such as setting up a rehab program. In many cases, these individuals will be subject to monitoring as a condition of their probation as well.

If you've been arrested on suspicion of illegally distributing prescription drugs, consulting with a Windham, Connecticut criminal defense attorney may help as you attempt to resolve your legal matter.

Source: FindLaw, "Is It Illegal to Share or Give Away Prescription Drugs?," Christopher Coble, March 29, 2017

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