Let’s say you suffer from chronic pain and so does your friend elsewhere. Your doctor recently prescribed a medication for you to take that has positively impacted your health and you would like to send some of your pills to your friend so they can try them and see if they work for them. Is it legal to mail them a few of your pills?
The United States Postal Service has regulations prohibiting the mailing of controlled substances except under very limited circumstances. Furthermore, those in Louisiana who attempt to mail prescription drugs without authorization can face state drug distribution charges. A skilled lawyer from John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm can help you if you have been charged with distributing controlled substances in Louisiana.
Mailing Prescription Drugs Is Prohibited by the USPS
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations, over-the-counter medications that can be purchased in a pharmacy or grocery store without a prescription can be mailed without any special considerations, provided they do not contain any controlled substances or poisonous substances. Prescription drugs refer to medicines that can only be obtained with a written order by a medical doctor or pharmacist. While it is legal for you to receive prescription drugs through the mail, only pharmacists or medical doctors are permitted to mail prescription drugs.
If a medication contains a controlled substance such as opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, or anabolic steroids, it cannot be mailed under any circumstances unless both the mailer and the recipient are registered with the US Drug Enforcement Agency or are exempt due to being members of law enforcement, civil defense workers, or military members.
Those who are permitted to mail controlled substances also include individuals participating in a drug buy-back program, provided they follow the program’s mailing rules, or if the mailer is a drug manufacturer or a pharmacy filling a prescription. If the drugs are being mailed by those authorized to do so, controlled substances must have an inner packaging that is properly marked and sealed.
The Potential Penalties for Distribution of Drugs in Louisiana
Those who mail prescription drugs who are not a medical doctor or a pharmacist can be charged with distribution of drugs or dispensing drugs without a prescription. Drug distribution charges can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the amount and type of drug that was distributed, as well as whether the mailer had a previous history of similar convictions.
The penalties for distributing illegal or prescription drugs in Louisiana are extremely harsh, particularly when the drug in question is a controlled substance. These penalties include a period of incarceration from 5-30 years, as well as a fine of up to $50,000.
The Potential Penalties for Possessing an Illegal Prescription
As noted, the risks of mailing prescription drugs do not belong solely to the mailer of the drugs. The receiver faces potential consequences as well. If you obtain someone else’s prescription medication, you can be charged with illegal possession and face consequences such as up to five years imprisonment with or without hard labor and a fine of up to $5,000.
In addition to facing criminal charges and potential for incarceration and fines, those who are convicted of distribution or possession after mailing prescription drugs will also have a conviction on their record that will appear on background checks and can make it difficult to obtain employment, housing, or even education.
If You’ve Been Charged with Prescription Drug Crimes, Contact John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm
Mailing prescription drugs is not only a violation of the laws of Louisiana but is also against federal regulations for the mail service. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that these laws or regulations are in place until they find themselves being charged with a prescription drug offense. The legal team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm understands how overwhelming the criminal process can be and we are ready to stand beside you as you defend yourself against drug charges in Louisiana.
Our attorneys are experienced problem-solvers and seasoned litigators who are able to handle a wide variety of cases. To learn more about the legal options that are available and to begin preparing a strategy focused on delivering the best outcome possible for your case, obtain a free case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer from John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm by calling (318) 377-1555 or by filling out our online contact form.