You have an old prescription for Percocet in your medicine cabinet. Your spouse has a headache. Can you give away a pill without breaking the law? Technically, no.

The sale and abuse of prescription medications is one of the fastest growing drug crimes in the nation. The surge of sales largely involves pain-relieving medications like Percocet and Vicodin. People are demanding pain medication for recreational purposes at higher rates than ever before.

According to federal law, it is illegal for any person to write a prescription to sell to another, or to give a prescription medication to another person. Licensed medical professionals may not legally prescribe medications to people who have not demonstrated a valid need for that medication.

What is important to note is that “selling” does not necessarily constitute an exchange of a prescription or drug for money. Selling can include exchanges, gifts, or offers to sell or gift prescription medication.

Illegal Sales

A medication can be sold in any number of ways. You may be charged with illegal sales if you have a valid prescription but sell or give your pills to someone else. A health care provider may be guilty of a crime if they write prescriptions for patients that are not necessary based upon the existing medical condition or lack of one. It is also illegal to prescribe a greater number of pills than is necessary.

The Prosecution

A prosecutor must prove nothing more than a person knowingly gave away or sold a prescription medication to a person who did not hold a prescription for same. In the case of medical professionals, it must be proven that a prescription was intentionally written or filled based upon bogus claims.


The penalties for those convicted can vary depending on jurisdiction. Those who are convicted of selling prescription medication are treated more harshly than those who are convicted of possessing those drugs. In general, the conviction of selling medication is a felony and results in prison. Health care providers not only face prison time, but the loss of their medical license.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our criminal defense attorneys know the local court systems, and we are here to fight for your rights. Call our offices as soon as possible and let us review your case. We will advise you how to best proceed with your defense. Call now.

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