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Can you sell your extra prescription drugs?

The level of control over prescription drugs is something you just took in stride before, never really thinking about the underlying legal issues that stem from unauthorized distribution.

After all, you never planned to sell your prescription medications as a source of income. You have a great career making far more than you'd ever make trying to do that. You would not jeopardize that career or your reputation just to make a few bucks.

But you got arrested anyway, and now you are facing serious charges that could potential land you in jail. How did this possibly happen?

The situation

You got your prescription painkillers after you had knee surgery following a hiking accident when you fell down the side of a short cliff. It was a freak accident, and your life was never in danger, but you came down hard and twisted your knee.

The painkillers helped as you recovered, but you have always been a fast healer. You also have a high pain tolerance. With about half of the bottle remaining, you stopped taking the medication.

Part of your reasoning was simply that you wanted to be cautious. You've heard about painkiller addiction, and you did not want to run the risk when you felt fine. You set the pills aside.

When you told one of your co-workers about it, he said he had also been having some medical issues and wanted to buy the extra pills from you. Thinking they might as well be put to good use, you agreed. You sold the pills over lunch one day, glad to make a little money back to put toward your medical bills.

The reality

You can see how something like this could emerge. You got the pills legally. You used them properly and sold them to someone else who wanted to use them as intended — at least, as far as you know. The problem is that you don't really know who will be the end user of your medication once you surrender control of it to a third party.

The reality is that sharing or selling prescription drugs is illegal. You could face federal or state charges. Some of those charges, if you get convicted, can result in years behind bars. One major contributing factor is just how much you sold.

You can plead your case and say it was an honest mistake, but you still violated the law. What if you find out after the fact that your co-worker was running an illegal drug ring and selling them on the street? Now you have involved yourself in that scheme, whether you meant to or not.

Your rights

A simple mistake can derail your career and cause serious ramifications. Be sure you understand all of your legal defense options.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

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