Addiction is a serious problem that plagues individuals across all walks of life throughout the entire world. In recent years, addictions to prescription medications have become more common, especially in the United States. Often the people that have become addicted once started as legitimate users, and were once prescribed medications by a doctor or other medical worker for a particular illness or ailment. Unfortunately, it is very easy to become addicted to prescription medications.
While prescription drug use has increased, so have the situations where individuals obtain these kinds of prescriptions illegally for their own use or to pass on to others. Those working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, dentist offices, and other healthcare facilities have access to many prescriptions and script pads that can be used to write the prescriptions for the drugs.Ways to Commit Prescription Fraud
There are many different actions that can cause a person to be charged with prescription fraud. Some of the common ways prescription fraud is committed include:
- Forging prescriptions – where someone tries to write a fake prescription;
- Stealing blank prescription pads and writing fake prescriptions – an extremely common occurrence;
- Altering a legitimate prescription – where someone may try to alter the number of refills of a particular medication or even change the name of the medication originally ordered;
- Calling in a fake prescription – where someone calls a pharmacy in an attempt to get that pharmacy to fill a prescription under the impression that an actual doctor or healthcare worker was the one ordering it; and
- Using an internet pharmacy – common when an individual is hoping to avoid traditional doctors’ offices, and instead fills out false symptoms online hoping to get the desired medication prescribed.
In Florida, it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance if that substance was not lawfully obtained from a medical practitioner and through a valid prescription or by the order of a valid medical practitioner in the course of their practice. This offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as it is classified as a third-degree felony.
However, because it is a drug crime, there is a chance that the offense can be transferred to drug court. Drug court is focused primarily on rehabilitation of the offenders, rather than just sentencing the offender to jail. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you may benefit by trying to get your case moved to drug court. If a serious addiction is involved with the charge, this may be the best solution for you.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a prescription drug offense in the state of Florida, contact our office immediately. Mark S. Lowry is an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles a wide variety of drug cases in Florida. Mark Lowry can help determine the best path to pursue for your individual situation – whether that be fighting the charges through a jury trial or negotiating the best possible plea agreement.