You have a prescription for anxiety medication, and you sometimes bring a few pills with you when you leave the house, just in case. During a traffic stop, the police officer notices the loose pills, maybe in an unmarked bottle. Can you receive a drug charge for taking your own medication? 

The Recovery Village offers insights on mounting a defense for getting “caught” with prescription medication. Understand how to both get out of legal boiling water and stay out of it. 

Prescription medication in the bottle  

The most beneficial thing you can do is to always transport your medication in the bottle it came in. It is the medication label that keeps you from receiving an unlawful possession of a controlled substance charge. Without clear evidence that the medication is legally yours, a police officer could arrest you. 

Prescription medication outside the bottle 

Legally, you cannot store prescription medication like Ambien, Xanax or Percocet inside a toiletry kit, bag, pocket or any other storage container. Doing so could result in a misdemeanor charge. If it is necessary to transport your medication outside the bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to do so safely. Consulting with a medical professional could also be a solid way to build a defense for an existing drug charge. 

Prescription medication belonging to someone else 

Maybe law enforcement caught you in possession of medication prescribed to a friend or family member. Even if you did not steal the medication, and even if you did not plan on taking the medication for recreational purposes, you may still find yourself on the receiving end of such penalties as probation, prosecution, arrest and court fines. 

Be careful about carrying your medication outside your home. Always ensure you can show that the prescription and medication are legally yours.