Woman charged, car impounded for Vicodin she claims was prescribed

A Detroit woman drove through a red light and was pulled over by the Sterling Heights cops.  

After looking in the car, the officers see what looks like prescription pills.

"The police found some hydrocodone pills in her purse that couldn't be identified as her prescription," said attorney Barton Morris.

The pills are also known as Vicodin, and you do need a prescription.  

 "She did have a prescription for them," said Morris.

But she didn't have the prescription with her and officers impounded the car, they didn't charge her yet, and the police could give her back the car - but here's where it gets complicated.

"Instead of determining that she did have a valid prescription, they instead tried to utilize the circumstances to say, 'We could just settle this out of court for a $1,000 but if you choose not to do it, we are going to keep your car for three months," said Morris.

Now Sterling Heights police told FOX 2 that she is going to be charged with a crime - a drug crime- which is a felony. She will have to deal with that. But what about the car?

"They are trying to utilize the fact that she didn't have the prescription on her in order to justify the sale of the car back to her," Morris said.

In order for the police to take a car - called forfeiture - there has to be a conviction of the crime.  Interestingly, the law changed Wednesday and she was pulled over Thursday. 

FOX 2: "When your client couldn't produce the prescription for Vicodin, the cops can impound the car, right?"

"But they have to give it back," Morris said.

Maybe, if she's convicted, yet she still will have to pay the reasonable impound charges. 

"She's been getting rides, she is having to pay for Uber to get to work," Morris said. "This has all been going on, while at the same time, the Sterling Heights police have basically been trying to figure out a way to extort money from her."

The best advice is if you have prescription drugs, make sure you can prove it's really your prescription if you get pulled over by the cops.