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What “Evidence” Prosecutors Use in Opioid Prescription Cases

pills of many types

Opioid addiction is a major crisis in the United States, and many people find themselves facing drug charges related to prescription medications. Due to their increased mortality rate and high risk of addiction, doctors may face charges of murder or criminal negligence if their prescriptions played a role in someone's addiction and subsequent opioid death.

People who have an opioid prescription may also face liability in a friend's overdose death if they shared their medication; it's also possible to face charges related to the possession, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance with an opioid prescription.

Physicians' Liability

Doctors must act ethically at all times, which includes being highly discriminant in the type of drugs they prescribe their patients. If a medical physician fails to consider the welfare of their patients, they may be held liable in court for their death. In order to demonstrate a doctor's negligence, the prosecutors would want to see what types of medications were prescribed, how frequently they were refilled, and the surrounding circumstances of the prescriptions.

Failure to disclose the addiction risk and other harmful side-effects of prescription opioids could also be used against a doctor in a court of law.

Prescription Drug Murder Charges

Sharing prescription medication is illegal. In the past, drug deaths that resulted from sharing prescription medication were considered largely unfortunate tragedies. However, in light of the growing opioid addiction and mortality rate, many prosecutors are seeking to charge people for sharing painkillers with homicide.

Most people involved in such cases are bereaved and never intended to harm their friend; maybe they had been injured, and you just wanted to bring them some relief. Maybe their own prescription ran out, and they didn't have health insurance, so you gave them some of your medication instead. Unfortunately, they died from an overdose, and now, you're facing jail time.

In this case, a prosecutor would look at your relationship with the victim and want to use your prescription as evidence; this would require receiving medical records and copies of the prescription your doctor gave you.

Controlled Substance Distribution

Sharing any prescription drugs with friends or family can also come with charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. Buying prescription medication, or possessing it without a lawful prescription, can result in major fines and imprisonment.

Sometimes, a person may have had a prescription medication that they shared with someone else, only for that person to then distribute the drugs on their own. Although you may not have directly sold anything, you could still face charges for sharing your prescription in the first place.

For more information on how Dallas courts handle prescription drug charges, and how you can protect yourself in an opioid case, contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain today (214) 238-9392.

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