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Can you be charged for carrying prescription medications?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2021 | New York State Criminal Defense

One kind of drug that can sometimes be abused is a prescription medication. Not all prescription medications are addictive or of a high value, but some are. That’s why it’s very important that you have a prescription bottle and keep your prescription inside if you’ll be carrying it with you.

A lot of people like to carry their prescriptions in smaller boxes that don’t have labels, but doing this could make it more difficult to prove that the medications are yours if you’re ever questioned. It’s much better to carry your prescriptions in their original bottles so that you have the name of the pharmacy on hand as well as information about your doctor, the specific prescription inside and what it should look like.

Can you be charged for carrying prescription medications outside a prescription bottle?

You can be arrested if a police officer discovers drugs in your possession through a legal search and there is no evidence that those drugs are specifically prescribed to you at that time. Usually, it’s easy to clear up misunderstandings by getting in touch with your medical provider or the pharmacy, but without a prescription bottle, it may take time for the police to test the pills or to reach out to find out more about your medications.

Without having the right information on hand, you could end up being arrested despite not doing anything wrong.

How can you avoid an arrest for carrying your medications?

If you want to avoid an arrest based on a legal search, you should always have your medications in their original prescription bottles. If you cannot do that, then you should keep your pharmacy’s information, as well as your doctor’s office’s, with the pills that you carry in another container. You could keep a copy of the medication label with the pills, too, which will help identify them correctly.

You are able to use a pill case, but you should be cautious to only use those given to you by your pharmacy. Your pharmacist may be able to provide you with travel bottles with prescription information to help avoid confusion.