controlled substances

Can I Be Arrested for Using Controlled Substances if I Have a Prescription for It?

By Peek & Toland on October 18, 2019

Like other states, Texas has strict laws that govern the possession of controlled substances. Some controlled substances, however, are available for legal use. Consumers authorized to possess these controlled substances generally must have a valid prescription for the drugs issued by a doctor or other medical provider. Commonly prescribed controlled substances include Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, Clonazepam, and hydrocodone.

Can I Be Arrested for Using Controlled Substances if I Have a Prescription for It?

Depending on the schedule of the drug, however, a single pill could result in felony charges for possession of a controlled substance. If charged with possession of these substances, however, individuals have a defense if they possess a valid prescription for the drug that they had before their arrest on possession charges. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions in which this defense may not be valid.

For instance, if you possess an extremely large amount of a controlled substance, you may still face possession charges. If your prescription does not match the amount of the controlled substance that you have in your possession, you still could face possession charges.

Furthermore, you can run afoul of DWI laws if taking a prescription drug impairs your ability to drive. As a result, you can face DWI charges even if you are taking a legally prescribed medication. To avoid these charges, you should refrain from driving while taking the medication if it makes you overly sleepy or otherwise impaired. Some prescription medications are known for causing side effects like drowsiness. These medications include Xanax, hydrocodone, and Ambien, among others. While everyone’s body reacts differently to taking medications, you should be cautious when driving after taking these drugs.

If you are prescribed a new drug, you also should avoid driving until you see how the medication will affect you. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. Our goal is to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes

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Texas Department of State Health Services to Remove Hemp as Schedule I Controlled Substances

By Peek & Toland on May 30, 2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services recently announced that it will remove hemp from its list of Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule I contains drugs that are highly dangerous, addictive, and typically have no accepted medical use. Other notable Schedule I drugs include cocaine, LSD, and heroin.

Nonetheless, the move does little to clarify the legal status of products containing hemp that many stores already sell in Texas, including gummies, creams, and oils. As of right now, hemp remains illegal. Hemp, unlike marijuana, contains low levels of THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that produces a high in user. Nonetheless, state law currently prohibits the possession and sales of both hemp and marijuana as the same substance in most circumstances. Only patients with intractable epilepsy and prescriptions issued by two doctors can purchase cannabis products that contain up to 0.5 percent THC. Any other hemp products must contain no THC to be legal in the state of Texas.

The declassification of hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance only partially brings it into compliance with current federal law. Last year, Congress legalized hemp containing less than 0.3 percent THC. As a result, the Texas legislature would need to amend its current definition of hemp and the accompanying penalties for buying and selling it to comply with federal law. Although legislation is pending in the Texas legislature, it is debatable whether the proposed legislation will pass before the end of the current legislative session.

This continuing confusion under Texas law is leading to different legal repercussions for shops that sell CBD oil in different jurisdictions. While Dallas County has not prioritized enforcing laws regarding hemp on shops selling CBD products or consumers who purchase, the Tarrant County district attorney issued a statement that CBD oil is illegal. This statement led to police raids of shops selling CBD oil in Fort Worth. A complicating factor is that even if law enforcement authorities do file charges regarding the possession or sales of hemp products, they often end up dropping the charges because they must have each individual product tested to prove it is illegal under state law.

An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case, present your options, and help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you, based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes

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What is the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program?

By Peek & Toland on January 13, 2019

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is an electronic database that the Texas State Board of Pharmacy uses to collect and monitor prescription drug data for all Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances used by Texas residents, whether they are dispensed from a Texas pharmacy or by a pharmacy in another state. Medical practitioners also can use the PMP to monitor a patient’s prescription history and to request official Texas Schedule II prescription forms. Through this tool, practitioners and pharmacists can help ensure that patients are not overprescribed controlled substances and eliminate duplicate prescriptions.

Most recently, on September 1, 2018, the state issued a new official Schedule II prescription form with enhanced security features. Effective June 1, 2019, all prior versions of the form will become invalid.

What is the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program?

Another change to the PMP will take effect on September 1, 2019. On that date, all pharmacists and prescribers will be required to check a patient’s PMP history before dispensing or prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol. The purpose of this requirement is to identify and eliminate drug-shopping, illicit drug activity, and drug diversion.

Under the PMP, pharmacies must report the dispensing of controlled substances to the PMP no later than the next business day after the prescription is filled. Pharmacies that violate this requirement may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Unless obtained pursuant to a valid prescription by a licensed practitioner, the possession of any amount of controlled substances continues to be illegal under Texas law. The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies different controlled substances into penalty groups according to the danger level of risk of misuse that the controlled substance poses. The level of the offenses charged as a result of possessing or trafficking in these drugs differs according to the penalty group in which the drug is classified, the weight of the drug, along with any adulterants and dilutants.

The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including drug offenses and similar charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.

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