Anyone can be arrested for prescription fraud, whether an upstanding citizen of the community, doctor, or pharmacist. As trusted Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, we know that today's society is one that commonly uses prescription drugs for recreational purposes, and not just for their intended purpose. At The Justice Firm, we work aggressively to protect those accused of prescription fraud from serious consequences, including severe criminal penalties.
Across the entire United States, prescription drug abuse has become a growing and serious problem. Obtaining a prescription fraudulently is a crime; doctors who participate may lose their license and even serve jail/prison time. Forging prescriptions and altering legitimate prescriptions so that the pharmacy dispenses more than prescribed are the most common forms of prescription fraud. We urge you to contact a skilled and aggressive Los Angeles prescription fraud attorney at once if you are under investigation, or have been arrested or charged with this criminal offense.Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm Fighting on Behalf of Those Accused of Prescription Fraud
It is not uncommon for those who commit prescription fraud to be ordinary individuals who simply became addicted to a prescription drug such as Oxycontin or Vicodin. Opiate drugs are highly addictive and abused in not only California, but the entire country. "Doctor shopping" is also common, a process in which an individual may use multiple doctors and pharmacies in order to obtain a large amount of opiates or controlled substances. Our top priority is to fight vigorously for your legal rights and freedom, and to minimize the damage to the greatest extent possible whether that means getting charges dismissed or reduced, or securing an acquittal at trial.
Many people don't realize it, but there are alternatives to jail or prison time, including drug treatment programs. We believe it is vital to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, and determine the most appropriate course of action based on the specific details of a client's case.Los Angeles Criminal Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud
As mentioned above, the criminal penalties for a conviction of prescription fraud are harsh; the punishment an individual faces if convicted depend on a number of factors, including past criminal history.
Doctor shopping and prescription fraud are defined under California Health & Safety Codes 11153 and 11173. Both are considered "wobblers," which simply means that the prosecutor may choose to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or felony.
Doctor shopping, or Section 11173, may leave you facing up to three years in California State prison if convicted. If charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum jail time will not exceed one year.
Doctor misconduct, violation of Section 11153 will leave defendant's facing a fine of up to $20,000 and possible jail or prison time of up to one year.
Individuals may be charged with prescription fraud for various acts including:
- Theft of prescription pad or medical drugs
- Prescription tampering
- Securing prescriptions from multiple doctors or providers
- Changing information such as telephone number on prescription pad
- Providing prescription drugs to patients with no prescription
Prescription fraud is a serious criminal offense; not only may you face criminal penalties as mentioned above, a conviction could mean the end of your career or ruin of your reputation. You will also have a permanent criminal record which will affect many areas of your life. It is vital that you contact a highly experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer now, so that work can begin to protect your freedom and obtain positive results. Contact The Justice Firm now at 310-914-2444.