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Drug trafficking facts: How you could be accused

When you were stopped by police, they discovered that you had several bottles of prescription medications on hand. They asked why you had so many, then told you to wait while they went back to the cruiser to complete your traffic stop.

When another officer pulled up, you knew there was trouble brewing. The first officer explained that he'd seen multiple pill bottles on your front passenger seat, which they claim is enough to search your vehicle. You allowed it, knowing there was nothing to hide, but now you face drug charges.

Fact 1: Simple possession can quickly become a trafficking charge

When you carry your medications, do you keep them in a prescription pill bottle? Do you have information on your prescription where you can access it? If so, then you can help yourself if an officer asks about the drugs in your possession. Showing that you have a prescription is important.

If the officer questions why you have multiple bottles or bottles from different prescribers, you don't have to say anything. However, if there is a simple explanation, you might want to give it. For example, "I just returned to town and had forgotten my medications while out of town. I had to get a replacement from a new provider." This is a common reason why someone may have more than a small supply of a prescription medication.

Fact 2: Drug trafficking charges don't only apply to illicit drugs

The reality is that illicit drugs aren't the only drugs that can cause someone to face drug charges. It is also illegal to sell or give away prescription medications. Even if you're just trying to be nice or want to save a loved one some money, it's not worth the threat of being arrested and charged for trafficking. Only keep medications for yourself, and if you have medications left over, ask the pharmacy to dispose of them safely.

Fact 3: Intent to sell matters

If there is anything in your possession that could indicate that you're interested in selling your medications, that will cause the police to think you're trafficking drugs. For instance, if you have hundreds of dollars in cash on hand or have a pill cutter, they could assume you're selling.

The same is true if you have plastic baggies or drugs that are not in a prescription container. Help yourself by always keeping your prescription on hand and make sure you don't carry large amounts of cash unless it's necessary to do so.

If you're charged with a crime under these circumstances, there is likely a lot your attorney can do for you. You have a right to your prescriptions, and no officer should falsely accuse you of selling just because you have a pill cutter or other common goods in your vehicle.

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