Prescription fraud is a serious drug crime that has been on the rise across the country for the last five years. Many people commit this crime in order to abuse prescription drugs, which can result in overdoses, injuries, or death. Sometimes people are charged with prescription fraud along with other drug crimes, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone trafficking, both of which carry mandatory minimum sentences. If you are charged with prescription fraud in Bradenton, this is a serious crime, and you should consult an experienced Bradenton prescription fraud lawyer. Hanlon Law is dedicated to fighting for the accused.Types of Prescription Fraud Offenses
Prescription drugs can be abused just as seriously as street drugs can be. In some cases, they are obtained with a lawful prescription, but over time, the patient may become addicted and may try to use illegal methods to get more of the prescription drugs. Often, prescription fraud is perpetrated in connection with painkillers or benzodiazepines. Vicodin, Morphine, Percocet, Dilaudid, Valium, Oxycontin, and Xanax are often drugs involved in prescription fraud.
Prescription fraud can be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor under section 831.30 if the method involves forging or making a false prescription for a medication prescription. Similarly, if you knowingly cause a prescription to be falsely made, changed, forged, or counterfeited, or you try to pass off a false prescription as a true prescription, you can be sentenced to a maximum of 60 days in prison and $500 in fines.
There are some prescription fraud-related charges that are first-degree misdemeanors that carry potential penalties of 1 year of incarceration and $1,000 in fines. A prescription fraud attorney in Bradenton can help you mount a defense to these charges. Under Florida Statute § 893.13 (7)(a)1-6, you can be charged for distributing prescription drugs, not keeping records as required, refusing entry onto property for inspection, or maintaining a structure that is used by people using drugs in order to illegally keep or sell drugs.
You can be charged with a third-degree felony prescription fraud crime under Florida Statute § 893.13 (7)(a)7-13. The offenses listed under this statute can result in a maximum of 5 years’ incarceration and $5,000 in fines. Activities penalized under this law include:
- Using concealment, misrepresentation, forgery, fraud, deception, or subterfuge to try to obtain a controlled substance from a practitioner;
- Putting a false or forged label on a package that contains a controlled substance;
- Trying to obtain a controlled substance that you do not actually need;
- Having a prescription form, unless the health care practitioner whose name is printed on it has signed it;
- Keeping information that you got a prescription for the same drug from another practitioner within the last 30 days from a practitioner from whom you are trying to obtain a prescription for a drug; and
- Trying to obtain a controlled substance through the use of subterfuge, misrepresentation, deception, forgery, or fraud.
Prescription fraud can also involve felony drug crime charges, and you should consult a Bradenton prescription fraud attorney promptly if you are facing these types of charges. Under Florida Statute section 893.13(6)(a), you can be charged with a third-degree felony if you are found in actual or constructive possession of a drug unless the drug was properly obtained under a legitimate prescription or from a licensed physician. You can face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. If you are caught with the threshold amount for that drug, you could be charged with a first-degree felony trafficking crime.
If you are caught perpetrating prescription fraud, it is important to get a lawyer on your side quickly. You should disclose all of the information about your situation to your lawyer. There may be strong defenses that your lawyer can raise. For example, perhaps you did not know that a prescription was forged. Or perhaps you were taking medications for different medical conditions and simply forgot to provide a full history of the medications that you were taking.Get Advice From a Prescription Fraud Lawyer in Bradenton
Prescription fraud involving hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and many other substances is a rising area of concern for law enforcement and prosecutors. It is taken seriously. If you have been charged with prescription fraud in Bradenton, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has represented defendants accused of drug crimes since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 941.253.0254 or complete our online form.