Since you were involved in a car accident several years ago, you’ve been taking opioid medications. You had a prescription that expired, but you still have medication because you’ve tried to limit how often you take the drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that opioids killed over 33,000 people in 2015, and the United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. You’ve been cautious to avoid becoming one of the people listed in these statistics, but you found yourself in trouble when you were pulled over for speeding.

The officer noticed that you had a pill container next to you on the passenger seat, and since it was in plain view, asked you to show them what it was. You didn’t see any harm in it since you had a prescription in the past. The medication wasn’t in a labeled prescription bottle, and that ended up causing you trouble. When you showed the prescription, it was well-past expired, and the officer decided that you could be in possession of prescription drugs illegally.

As a patient who uses opioids, it’s a good idea to keep a current prescription open or to have your medical provider’s information on file if you do not get regular refills. You should also keep your medications in a prescription bottle that has your name and information, so there is no question that it is yours. 

If an officer does question your possession of prescription medication, you may want to talk to your attorney before deciding how you want to answer their questions. Even though you’re innocent, you could find yourself facing trouble with the law.