When people talk about drug crimes, they tend to think of high-profile cases involving organized crime. In reality, most drug-related offenses occur on a much smaller scale. Ordinary and otherwise law-abiding people face criminal charges having to do with possession or distribution of controlled substances, including prescription drugs.

At Dolan + Zimmerman LLP, in Boulder, our attorneys understand the nuances of drug possession laws in Colorado as they relate to prescription medications. Here are three helpful facts about prescription drugs.

No. 1: It's Illegal To Possess A Friend Or Family Member's Prescription

It is common for friends and family to share common prescription drugs such as Xanax and Adderall to help with everyday situations such as a stressful flight or a high-pressure test. Sharing controlled substances is illegal, and can become the basis of a distribution charge. Possession of a controlled substance that is not prescribed to you can become the basis of a possession charge.

No. 2: You Can Face Criminal Charges For Driving While Using Prescription Medication

Many commonly used prescription medications have side effects that can make driving unsafe. For example, Ritalin can make you dizzy, benzodiazepines such as Klonopin, Ativan or Xanax can make you tired and unsteady, opiate and narcotic painkillers can cause drowsiness and lack of coordination.

If the side effects of your prescribed medication impair your ability to drive, you can be charged with driving under the influence just as if you were drinking and driving, with all of the same consequences.

No. 3: Prescription Medications Must Be Kept In Their Proper Prescription Bottles

Have you ever gone on vacation and instead of bringing all of your pill bottles, you only brought what you needed? Maybe either in a plastic bag or one of those seven-day pill boxes? Did you know you were breaking the law and could wind up facing criminal drug charges?

It's a common misconception that if you are legally prescribed a medication you can transport the prescription any way you want. Possession of prescription medication that is improperly stored may cause the police to assume that it was not prescribed to you, and may cause them to charge you with possession.

Drug charges and potential consequences are based on how the drug is classified and the quantity of the drug. At Dolan + Zimmerman LLP, we understand the complexities of the legal system when it comes to drug charges. Do not jeopardize your future. Call our law firm at 720-943-4964 or contact us online.