Your buddy helped you move this past Friday and they hurt their back in the process. Naturally, you feel terrible. You feel even worse when they tell you they don’t want to go to the hospital and plan to just tough it out over the weekend until they see how they feel.
You have some unused painkillers, like Oxycontin or Percocet, laying around from a surgery you had some months before. In an effort to help your buddy, you give them the pills and tell them to use them carefully.
Your only goal in this exchange is to help your buddy. Your buddy’s only goal is to get some relief from the pain they’re in. However, you’re both guilty of what can be considered a drug crime.
Sharing your controlled prescription drugs is a crime
The Texas Health and Safety Code only makes it legal to possess a controlled substance if you have a valid prescription for it.
If you give your friend your drugs, that’s drug dealing (even if you didn’t take any money for the pills). If your friend accepts the drugs, that’s possession. If your buddy gets pulled over for so much as a routine traffic stop and the officer spots the pill bottle in the cup holder of their car or their pocket, you could both be facing serious legal consequences.
Since Texas is notoriously tough on drug crimes, it’s also important to remember that the total weight of the drugs, including additives, coatings and casings, will be used to calculate the charges, so half a bottle of oxycontin could easily be a felony offense.
If you’re charged because you gave prescription painkillers to a friend or accepted some, it’s time to remain silent until you can learn more about your defense options.