Prescription fraud is act of misrepresenting yourself to a doctor or pharmacist, doctor shopping, or being dishonest when obtaining controlled substances from a doctor or pharmacist. If a physician prescribe these drugs willingly and without a legitimate purpose, they too may be accused of prescription fraud.
Doctor shopping is one of the more common practices of prescription fraud and entails visiting many different doctors in hopes of obtaining narcotics. Chronic pain sufferers who are addicted to opiates or pain medication and need increasingly larger doses to obtaining the same relief often use the doctor shopping method. Prescription fraud arises in this instance if the patient fails to warn the physicians of already taking medication or have other prescriptions.
Other examples of prescription fraud include forging prescriptions on a stolen physician’s prescription pad, using computers to create fake prescriptions, or altering a physician’s prescription altogether to increase the number of the drugs prescribed. Drug users have also employed the tactic of impersonating medical staff to call in prescriptions and using their own number as call-back information.
Prescription Fraud Penalties
Unlawful possession of an illegal prescription, or prescription fraud, is considered a Class IV felony. You could be facing up to five years in prison with a fine of upwards of $10,000. This could seriously impair job opportunities or getting a house or a loan. If you have multiple felonies on your record, the penalties will undoubtedly be more severe. However, depending on your circumstances and quality of defense, you may be eligible for a pretrial intervention program or drug court, requiring a person to enter a guilty plea that allows that very guilty plea to be withdrawn if they successfully complete a rehabilitation program. Either scenario may end in the defendant’s favor, the courts dismissing the prescription fraud charges or your record being cleared upon completion of the program.
Prescription Fraud Defense
Some of the usual criminal defense tactics available in prescription fraud cases include: challenging illegal search and seizure, defective search warrants, and other constitutional violations. For a doctor or physician, the “good faith” defense can be used if a patient fails to disclose a material fact that, if the doctor knew, would not have resulted in a prescription. Many states use alternative sentencing or dispositions such as drug courts and a pre-trial diversion program in first-offense cases. In such case, charges may be dropped or dismissed on completion of a court-approved program.
Prescription Fraud Lawyer in Nebraska
Needless to say, prescription fraud charges are a very serious matter. With prescription fraud crime rates rising, many states have enacted strict laws regarding their possession and distribution. Prescription drug charges are a very serious matter that require a knowledgeable, experienced prescription drug lawyer. Attorney Dan Stockmann will diligently fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and show the holes in the prosecution's case to the jury. Stockmann Law’s criminal defense attorneys stand up to prosecutors on prescription drug charges, including accusations of illegal possession, prescription forgery, or any other criminal matter. A strong defense can make a big difference in whether you successfully defend yourself from criminal charges.