Prescription fraud has become an epidemic in the United States. To prevent it, many pharmacies and medical facilities have enacted strict security measures regarding prescription drugs. As a result of this crackdown, the number of prescription fraud charges has surged in recent years, including those based on false accusations. If you are charged with prescription fraud, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you and protect your rights.
What Is Prescription Fraud?
Prescription fraud involves acquiring a prescription through dishonest means. This may include:
- Doctor shopping, which involves visiting multiple doctors to ask for the same prescription
- Dishonestly representing your symptoms (for example, claiming pain that you don’t have to acquire prescription pain medications).
- Misrepresenting yourself or providing a false identity to a doctor or pharmacy
- Falsely claiming that you lost a prescription to receive additional medication
- Creating fake prescriptions, whether through a computer program or with an unsuspecting physician’s stolen prescription drug pad
- Falsely claiming membership in the medical community to illegally provide yourself with a prescription
- Altering prescriptions written by your physician.
Doctors who write prescriptions under dubious circumstances—writing unnecessary prescriptions for family members, for example—may also face prescription fraud charges.
The Consequences of Prescription Fraud
Prescription fraud is generally charged as a third- or fourth-degree felony. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your charges, you may face five years in jail and fines exceeding $30,000. Furthermore, a prescription fraud conviction can result in consequences that damage your future. Given the severe potential penalties, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to minimize any potential consequences.
How a Lawyer Helps You
Retaining a lawyer to represent you can provide numerous benefits. Your lawyer will help you understand the charges, develop your legal defense, explain any plea agreements that the prosecution offers, and represent you at trial, if necessary. Your lawyer will provide valuable legal advice throughout the entire process, which will help you to avoid incriminating yourself and ensure the best possible result.
Depending on your specific circumstances, your attorney may employ several legal strategies to fight your prescription fraud charges, including:
- Challenging evidence collection methods, including whether police collected evidence pursuant to a search warrant
- Issuing a “good faith” defense for cases that involve a doctor who has written a dubious prescription
- Looking for alternative sentencing options, including drug courts or pretrial diversion programs, which can sometimes result in the court dropping charges and excluding them from your criminal record
Working with your lawyer is the most effective way to determine the best legal strategy for your specific circumstances.
Get Legal Help for Your Prescription Fraud Accusation
If you are charged with prescription fraud, don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Call the Khonsari Law Group today at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys and learn how we can help.