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What happens if you have someone else’s prescription drugs?

Battling addiction is not easy, and in recent years there has been a significant increase in addiction to prescription drugs. Many times, people are legally prescribed these drugs by a doctor for a legitimate medical condition, and then become addicted, due to the highly addictive nature of the drugs.

That often leads to finding any possible way to keep taking the prescription drugs, even if it means taking someone else’s.

However, illegally possessing prescription drugs in Georgia is a criminal charge that comes with serious potential penalties. If you are caught with someone else’s prescription drugs on you, you could face misdemeanor or felony drug charges.

What possession means

It is important to note that you do not have to have the prescription drugs literally on your body, such as in a pocket or in your hand, to be charged with possession. Georgia law defines possession as either actual or possessive.

This means that you could be charged with possession even if the prescription drugs are found in your vehicle or your home, if there is evidence that you had control of the drugs.

Factors considered when charging and sentencing

Your charges are based on various factors, including the amount of drugs, type of drugs and the circumstances surrounding the possession.

As with the charges, the potential penalties you face depend on different factors. Some of these are the same factors as above, while other factors could include your criminal history or any steps you have taken to treat your addiction, such as attending rehab.

Defending against a drug possession charge

There are defenses to a drug possession charge that could apply to your situation. Police officers must have a warrant to search your home or vehicle, with some exceptions. If a search was performed without a warrant, your rights may have been violated.

A drug possession charge also requires intent. You must have known the drugs were in your possession and they were not yours. If a friend left their prescription drugs at your house, and you did not know they were there, intent cannot be proven.

These are some examples of possible defenses. If you are charged with illegally possessing prescription drugs, you should have your case evaluated for potential defenses.