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When thinking of controlled substances and their misuse, one might first think of marijuana, heroin, or meth. However, the largest growing epidemic in drug offenses actually involves prescription drugs. Under Minnesota law, unlawful possession, sale, and distribution of prescription drugs holds the same offenses as any other drug crime. Even done inadvertently, one could be facing serious charges if they share or have possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription.

A common way prescription drugs are illegally possessed is through a family member or friend. For example, if you are offhandedly given a pain pill by a friend, then you could be charged with possession while the friend could be charged with distribution. A transaction does not have to take place for it to be considered an unlawful sale of a controlled substance. Because prescription drugs like opioids can easily be abused, the laws reflect that potential danger.

If purposefully trying to sell or give away your prescription drugs, the laws have broad terms for conviction. Unlawful sale of prescription drugs, under Minnesota law, defines “sell” as:

  • sell
  • give away
  • barter
  • deliver
  • exchange
  • distribute or dispose of to another
  • manufacture
  • offer or agree to do any of the above
  • possess with intent to do any of the above

At minimum, one could face a fifth-degree drug charge, which can include a maximum of five years prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Take the unlawful distribution of controlled substances seriously and contact our criminal defense lawyers if you have been charged with a drug crime involving prescription drugs.