Prescription Drug Charges
Many people believe that due to the legality of prescription drugs, they cannot get into much trouble if they illegally obtain them. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense, being convicted of a crime involving prescription drug fraud can land you in prison for several years.
Some of the most common prescription drugs that are illegally used or obtained include Xanax, Adderall, Valium, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Codeine, Morphine, and Demerol. If you have been charged with a prescription drug-related offense, it is important to take the charges against you seriously by contacting an Austin Drug crimes defense attorney.
Prescription Drug Charges Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges related to prescription drug fraud, it is important to take your charges seriously. Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents individuals in Austin, Pflugerville, Lakeway, Lago Vista, West Lake Hills, Sunset Valley, and Travis County who have been accused of prescription drug fraud and other related offenses.
Contact Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a consultation to discuss your charges. Your initial consultation is free and it is an essential part of the defense planning process.
Prescription Drug Charges Information Center
- What is Prescription Drug Fraud?
- Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud in Travis County
- Examples of Prescription Drug Fraud in Texas
- Common Types of Prescription Drugs or Controlled Substances Obtained by Fraud
- Defending Clients against Prescription Drug-Related Offenses
According to section 481.129 of the Texas Health and Safety Code Ann., an individual can be charged with prescription drug fraud in Austin if he or she knowingly and intentionally:
- Uses a fictitious, revoked, or suspended registration number during the manufacturing, distributing or prescribing of controlled substances
- Issues a prescription with a forged or fictitious signature
- Uses someone else’s prescription to prescribe a Schedule II drug
- Possesses or attempts to obtain a controlled substance or an increased amount of controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or oral or electronic deception
- Produces false or fraudulent information or falsifies documents, reports, or applications in order to obtain or prescribe controlled substances
- Delivers a prescription or a prescription form for any purpose other than a valid medical purpose in the course of professional practice
Individuals can also be charged with prescription drug fraud if they make, distribute, or possess anything that is designed to print, imprint, or reproduce a trademark, name, or identifying mark of a controlled substance, or a container/label of a controlled substance, with the intent to make a counterfeit controlled substance.
Prescription drug fraud can be charged as a second-degree felony if the offense involves a Schedule I or II drug. A second-degree felony carries a prison sentence between two and 20 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
This offense is considered a third-degree felony if the controlled substance involved is a Schedule III or IV drug. If convicted, the offender can face between two to 10 years of imprisonment, and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.
If the drug involved in the offense is from Schedule V, the offender can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, an individual can be sentenced to up to a year behind bars, and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Prescription drug fraud charges can occur when users obtain or attempt to obtain prescription drugs unlawfully in a variety of ways.
Common examples of prescription drug fraud in Texas include:
- Forging prescriptions: This often occurs after stealing slips from physician’s prescription pad or notebook. Prescription forgery charges can also result from the use of computers or other copying equipment to create forged or fake prescriptions. The offenders may write the prescription for themselves, another individual or a fictitious person. This type of prescription drug fraud is often committed by patients, medical staff or cleaning personnel.
- Altering prescriptions: Many people find themselves facing prescription drug fraud charges after they have been accused of altering a legitimate prescription to increase the quantity, increasing the number of refills, increase the strength or dosage, or adding additional types of drugs to the prescription. This type of prescription drug fraud is usually committed by opportunistic patients who have become addicted to the drug or other narcotics.
- Doctor Shopping: One of the most common forms of prescription fraud is doctor shopping. Since doctors are ethically and lawfully limited to the types and quantity of medication they can prescribe to patients, offenders will typically visit different doctors at multiple offices to obtain narcotics. Offenders will misrepresent, deceive or fail to advise the doctor that they are already receiving the medication or have other prescriptions.
- Impersonating Medical Staff: Prescription fraud in the form of impersonating medical staff to call in prescriptions is another common type of way to be charged with prescription drug fraud in Texas. This often occurs when an individual calls a pharmacy pretending to be an employee of a doctor’s office, request that a prescription is filled and then uses their own number as call-back for confirmation.
Unfortunately, many people become dependent on prescription drugs or a controlled substance after being prescribed medication to treat pain after surgery, an injury or other medical diagnosis. When their prescription refills run out, some turn to illegal means to obtain these drugs.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with any type of misdemeanor or felony prescription fraud, immediately contact an Austin prescription drug defense lawyer who understands how to defend prescription drug fraud charges and who fight to protect your criminal record.
Pain Relievers: The most common type of prescription drugs or controlled substances that are obtained by fraudulent means are highly addictive opioid pain relievers, such as Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContine (oxycodone), Soma, Morphine, and Percocet.
Chronic pain sufferers who are addicted to opiates or pain medication may need increasingly larger doses to obtain the same relief often turn to doctor shopping to obtain additional prescriptions.
Benzodiazepines: Drugs used to treat anxiety, sleeping disorders, and muscle relaxers are controlled substances that are commonly obtained by prescription fraud. These medications include Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam).
Stimulants: Stimulants prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD)/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as Adderall, Ritalin, and other amphetamines are often reported as having been obtained by fraudulent means.
Prescription drug fraud charges should be taken seriously because the last thing you want on your criminal record is a fraud charge involving drugs.
Contact Kevin Bennett today to set up a consultation on your prescription drug charges. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett meticulously defends clients who are facing prescription drug charges in and around Sunset Valley, Austin, Travis County, Rollingwood, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, and West Lake Hills.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626, and let Kevin Bennett represent you. He is a tactical defense attorney who will fight for your desired outcome.