Prescription Drug Charges

Because prescription drugs can be legally obtained, those who illegally obtain or possess them often forget about the stiff penalties they could face if they’re caught.

Some of the most common prescription drugs that are illegally used or obtained include Xanax, Demerol, Vicodin, Adderall, Valium and Codeine. If you were recently arrested for a prescription drug crime, you should contact an attorney right away.

Attorney for Prescription Drug Charges in Houston, TX

Prescription drug charges should be taken seriously. Let The Benken Law Firm represent you. Brian Benken has over 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer and he will do everything in his power to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

Schedule a free case consultation with The Benken Law Firm. Call (713) 223 - 4051 today. Brian Benken represents clients in all areas in Harris County. Some of these areas include, but are not limited to, Hunters Creek Village, the Galleria, Southside Place, Braeswood Place, Gulfton and many more in Harris County and surrounding counties.


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Prescription Drugs in Penalty Group I and II

Unless you are given a prescription from a doctor, it’s illegal to be in possession of certain prescription drugs. Under Texas law, prescription drugs are considered controlled substances, which places them under the Texas Controlled Substance Act.

Many of the prescription drugs that individuals are found in possession of are in penalty group I or III. Prescription drugs listed under penalty group I include oxycodone, morphine and those containing gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GBH) such as XYREM.

The bulk of prescription drugs are classified under penalty group III. Drugs in this category include:

    • Valium
    • Ritalin
    • Ativan
    • Xanax
    • Rivotril
    • Nembutal
    • Amobarbital

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Possession of Prescription Drugs in Penalty Group I

Our county is in the middle of a prescription drug overdose epidemic. To combat the issue, Texas has taken matters into their own hands and established laws to punish those found in possession of prescription drugs.

If you are found in possession of penalty group I prescription drugs, you could face the following penalties:

State jail felony: Possession of less than one gram is a state jail felony. The crime is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail. You could also be required to pay a fine that can cost up to $10,000.

Third-degree felony: Possession of more than one gram but less than four is a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Second-degree felony: Possession of more than four grams but less than 200 is a second-degree felony. If convicted, you could spend two to 20 years in prison and a fine that can cost up to $10,000.

First-degree felony: Possession of more than 200 grams but less than 400 is a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by no less than five years but no more than 99 years or life in prison. The court can also sentence you to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

If you are found in possession of 400 grams or more of a prescription drug listed under penalty group I, you could get life in prison or a term of no less than 10 years but no more than 99years or life. You would also be required to pay a fine up to $100,000.


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Possession of Prescription Drugs in Penalty Group III

The penalties for possession of drugs in penalty group III are not as severe as those in penalty group I, but you could still face a significant amount of time in jail and have to pay expensive fines.

Possession of drugs in penalty group III are penalized as follows:

Class A misdemeanor: Possession of less than 28 grams is a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor is punished by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000, or both a fine and jail time.

Third-degree felony: Possession of more than 28 grams but less than 200 is a third-degree felony. You could spend two to 10 years in prison and be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

Second-degree felony: Possession of more than 200 grams but less than 400 is a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by two to 20 years behind bars and a fine up to $10,000.

Anyone found in possession of 400 grams or more of a prescription drug in penalty group III can face up to life in prison a sentence of no less than five years but no more than 99 years of life in prison. You would also be required to pay a fine up to $50,000. 


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What is Prescription Drug Fraud?

Another common prescription drug charge in Texas is prescription fraud. Several examples of prescription drug fraud include:

  • Doctor shopping: This is the most common type of prescription drug fraud. Because doctors are legally limited on the quantity and type of medications they can prescribe, offender will visit numerous doctors to obtain more narcotics.
  • Forging prescriptions: This can happen when a patient steals a slip from a doctor’s prescription pad. The offender typically writes the prescription for himself or herself as a fictitious person.
  • Altering prescriptions: Altering prescriptions can include increasing the dosage, the quantity, number of refills or adding more drugs to the prescription.

The penalties for prescription drug fraud will vary based on what schedule the drug falls under.

Schedule II drugs such as Ritalin, Dexedrine and Percodan are punishable by a second-degree felony. If convicted, you could spend two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

If you fraudulently obtained any schedule III or IV drugs such as Valium or Xanax, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by two to 10 years behind bars and a fine up to $10,000.


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Additional Resources for Prescription Drug Fraud in Houston, TX

Texas Controlled Substance Act– Follow this link to read the full text of the Texas Controlled Substance Act. You can view a list of every drug listed under every penalty group. You can also learn more about other drugs crimes such as possession or marijuana, manufacturing and delivering. The act can be read on the Texas Statutes and Constitutions website.

Texas State Board of Pharmacy– Visit the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to learn more about prescriptions. You can learn about who is legally able to write prescriptions and when a pharmacist is required to fill a prescription.


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Lawyer for Prescription Drug Charges in Harris County, TX

Were you arrested for prescription drug charges in Harris County? If so, take the first step in building your defense by contacting The Benken Law Firm. Brian Benken is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will guide you through the complicated legal process.

As a licensed private investigator, Brian Benken will uncover evidence that is key in winning your case or having it dismissed. Schedule a free case consultation with The Benken Law Firm today. Call (713) 223 - 4051.

Brian Benken defends clients of prescription drug charges in every community in Harris County such as Montrose, Midtown, West University Place, Rice Military and many others in Harris County and surrounding counties.


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