If you are like many people, your life is messy sometimes. For example, maybe you take three types of prescription medications in addition to vitamins and supplements. To save space and to ensure you remember to take everything, you put the pills together in pillboxes labeled by day of the week.
However, you can get in legal trouble for storing prescription pills outside of their original containers. While it seems unlikely that police officers will come into your home and arrest you for this offense, it may surprise you to learn other ways that prescription pills can get you into trouble.
Say that one of your brake lights is out, and a police officer pulls you over. You happen to have a bottle of prescription pills in plain sight, and the officer asks to see it. What are some potential issues here?
- The pills are prescribed to you, but the name on the bottle is a maiden name, nickname or misspelling. It does not match the name on your driver’s license.
- The bottle and some of the pills are yours, but to save space and energy, you poured other prescription pills you take into the bottle.
- The name on the bottle is not yours. It could be your spouse’s, relative’s or friend’s name–but certainly is not yours.
- The bottle is yours, the pills are yours, but other people are in the car with you. Perhaps it may seem like they are closer to the bottle or in possession of it.
Florida is strict when it comes to prescription pills because there is a high risk of addiction, and therefore, fraud. There can be some tolerance for simple mistakes but not much. You can easily get into trouble for carrying your spouse’s or child’s pills in your purse. So, even if you have prescription pills in your purse or glove compartment, a police search could turn them up.
If police want to search your car, they must have probable cause. Otherwise, always insist that officers get a warrant when they ask to search.