Photo of Scott C. Brown

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » Is driving with prescription pills illegal?

Is driving with prescription pills illegal?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Doctors prescribe medication as a form of treatment for various ailments. However, there are some drugs prescribed that may also carry risks in the eyes of the law.

The West Virginia Uniform Controlled Substances Act sets out the way the legal system views drugs by placing them in five categories.  If you find yourself in a traffic stop where the police discover pills in your vehicle, it helps to know what elements may find you facing possession charges.

The prescription details

Driving with prescription pills is not uncommon and, in and of itself, not illegal. However, certain aspects make it such under the laws of the state. First, if you are not carrying the pills in the original prescription container, it may prove problematic. Regardless of the type of medicines, they should always remain in their prescribed container. This allows the police to identify them and confirm the drugs are yours. If you have prescription pills that a doctor did not prescribe to you, it will result in a charge.

The punishment for possession

The penalties for getting caught with any drug depend on the classification of the substance and the quantity. Some prescription medication is more dangerous than others, and so it falls as a narcotic. The range for drugs runs from I to V with Schedule I narcotics, the most addictive and dangerous. Prescription medications containing amphetamines and oxycodone are Schedule II drugs. Possession of them without a valid prescription may carry hefty fines and jail time, depending on the circumstances.

Taking prescribed medication as intended is not illegal. If you find yourself facing charges of possession, it helps to find someone to explain what may come next.