What would be the charge if I went to pick up someone’s medication at the pharmacy and I kept it?

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2011

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What would be the charge if I went to pick up someone’s medication at the pharmacy and I kept it?

I was asked to pick it up. Is this fraud or theft or what?

Asked on June 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's theft. Modern criminal statutes don't really distinguish too much between the methods of theft--i.e. did  you take something out of someone's house, did you refuse to return property which was temporarily in your control, etc. Correctly, the law treats most forms of theft as the same, ignoring issues of how it was accomplished. (Certain kind of thefts, such as ones which involve violence or the threat of violence, like armed robbery, are treated differently.) The main determinant of the crime which you'd be charged  with is based on value--i.e. what is the the value of the medication? As a general matter, the more valuable the item stolen, the more severe the crime and the greater the potential punishment.

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