What Is Prescription Fraud?
There are several things that constitute prescription fraud. You could present yourself to a doctor or a pharmacist in a false manner just to get medications. Another situation is visiting numerous doctors or hospitals to get medications that are then used for personal use or sold to make money. This would likely need to be done in a short period of time as some doctors and hospitals will report to each other when someone makes numerous visits over time. Another example of prescription fraud is giving false information to your doctor in order to get medications. If you’re a doctor or pharmacist, you can also be charged with prescription fraud. Examples include writing prescriptions to patients and getting money for them or getting a cut of the medication that is prescribed or writing a prescription for a medication that cost more than what the patient needs. When the prescription is filled, the doctor would work with the pharmacist to get a cut of the money received when the order is filled. This would take careful planning on both parties involved.
Shopping For Doctors
Most doctors have a limit of how much medication they are allowed to prescribe or how much they will willingly prescribe to one person within a certain amount of time. One of the ways that you might commit prescription fraud is by going to a few different doctors to get medications. This often occurs if you don’t let the doctor know that you’re taking medications and get the doctor to prescribe a medication that can be sold for a significant amount of money, such as a narcotic. Most of the time, those who are addicted to pain relievers or stronger medications will visit various doctors without telling any of them about current medications. People who work in hospitals or doctor’s offices often commit this kind of prescription fraud as well because they can get medications from their employer as well as other physicians.
What Are Some Of The Charges Related To Prescription Fraud?
With the growing issue of prescription fraud, between 3-10 percent of money for healthcare is lost to this type of crime. Most charges are listed under the Controlled Substances Act. Each state has its own laws in place when it comes to the exact charges. Depending on the amount and type of medication will is usually indicative as to whether the crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Most states will charge someone as harshly as legally possible in order to try to make an impact on the person’s life. Taking too many prescriptions can often lead to health problems or death if the person takes too much at one time. There are medications that end up in the hands of children and people who can’t take certain medications. Some people will blend medications by turning a few different drugs into a powder. This could mean serious health concerns for the person using the drug.
Most of the time, prescription drug fraud is considered a third or fourth-degree felony. If you’re charged with a third-degree felony, then there is a possibility that you’re going to be in prison for three to five years. A fourth-degree felony is usually punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Aside from spending time in jail, you have to think about the fines that are associated with the charges. These fines could be as high as $30,000.
The type of fraud committed will play a part on how the judge sentences you in court. If it’s a first offense and you have an overall clean background, then the judge might offer probation, especially if the medication was for personal consumption instead of being sold to other people. Some judges might dismiss the charges altogether or offer a prayer for judgment. If you are charged with the same type of crime in the future, then the judge likely won’t be as lenient.
How Can An Attorney Help
If you’re charged with prescription fraud, you need to seek the help of an attorney. Present all of the information that you have about why you got the prescriptions and what they were used for so that the attorney can plan the best defense. An attorney will also look at whether the fraud committed was found in a manner that was legal. Illegal search and seizure is an example of a defense. The doctor could use acting in good faith as a defense if he didn’t know that there were other medications involved.
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