A prescription is a very powerful little piece of paper. That recommendation from a physician makes it lawful to possess and consume a medication that could otherwise lead to criminal charges. Provided that a physician recommends that someone uses a specific drug and the patient secures that prescribed medication from a licensed pharmacy, they can theoretically use the medication lawfully without risk of prosecution.
However, those prescribed certain medications in Maryland could still end up accused of violating the law and facing criminal prosecution. Oftentimes, offenses involving prescription drugs relate to motor vehicles. These are two of the ways that people in Maryland expose themselves to criminal prosecution in vehicles due to conduct related to prescription medication.
Taking medication before driving
Quite a few different types of medication will impact someone’s ability to safely drive. Medications ranging from muscle relaxants to psychiatric drugs may come with warnings about driving or operating heavy machinery while using those prescriptions. Anyone driving while under the influence of a drug that could affect their safety could face prosecution even if a doctor recommended that medication to them. The state usually won’t need to prove someone took enough to affect their driving, just that they were behind the wheel with certain medications in their bloodstream.
Possessing someone else’s medicine or new packaging
There are rules that allow for the delivery of prescription medication to others in Maryland. For example, pharmacies can actually provide home delivery services, and caregivers or family members can pick up a prescription at the pharmacy and take it to someone who cannot drive or leave the home. However, once someone opens their medication, having anyone else transport their medicine for them could lead to the arrest of that individual. In fact, even the person who has the prescription could face prosecution if they get pulled over in their vehicle without their prescription paperwork, especially if the medication is no longer in the packaging provided by the pharmacy.
Seemingly simple mistakes like moving medication into a seven-day pill planner, could increase someone’s chance of criminal prosecution for a drug offense in Maryland. Learning about and avoiding those common mistakes can help those prescribed powerful medication avoid criminal charges related to their medical needs.