Prescription Drug Charges

Nearly 60 percent of Americans take prescription drugs. Most of the prescription medications we take are used to make us better, but some can lead to addiction. Prescription drugs can be legally obtained with a prescription, so it’s easy to forget about the stiff penalties associated with illegal possession.

Some of the most common prescription drugs that are illegally used or obtained include Xanax, Demerol, Vicodin, Adderall, Valium and Codeine. Illegal possession of any type of prescription drug, no matter where it falls on the penalty groups schedule, will result in felony charges. As a convicted felon, you could lose your professional license access to federal student aid and have a difficult time finding employment.

Attorney for Prescription Drug Charges in Houston, TX

Prescription drug charges should be taken seriously. Let The Benken Law Firm represent you. Brian Benken is a criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer. He will use this experience to your advantage and 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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What Prescription Drugs are a Controlled Substance in Texas? 

While most of the medications out doctors give us are safe, some of them can lead to addiction. Because of this, many prescription drugs that are used to treat illness such as anxiety, depression and seizes are considered classified as a penalty group II and III drugs in the Texas Controlled Substance Act. The law believes drugs in these groups have accepted medical use, but a high potential for abuse.

Common examples of prescription drugs in penalty group II include:

  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Ritalin
  • Dexedrine

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

  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Xanax
  • Nembutal
  • Amobarbital

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Penalties for Possession of a Penalty Group II Drug in Texas

Penalty group II drugs are only a step below penalty group I drugs, which are considered the most dangerous. They may have some medical use, but they are still considered dangerous. You will be charged with a felony no matter how much is found in your possession. Because of this, it’s advised you contact legal representation if you have been arrested for possession of a prescription drug.

Listed below are the penalties for possession of a penalty group II drug:

  • Less than one gram: State jail felony punishable between 180 days to two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • More than one gram but less than four grams: Third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • More than four grams but less than 400 grams: Second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • 400 grams or more: No less than five years in prison but up to 99 years of life and a fine of up to $50,000

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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 II, 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:

  • Less than 28 grams: Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both a fine and jail time
  • More than 28 grams but less than 200 grams: Third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • More than 200 grams but less than 400 grams: Second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • 400 grams or more: No less than five years but up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of 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, an 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 themselves 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 of 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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This article was last updated on April 1, 2019.

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