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Dallas Prescription Drug Fraud Defense Lawyer

Since narcotics and other controlled substances are often legally prescribed by doctors, many people underestimate the effect that obtaining or possessing these drugs without a valid prescription can have on their futures. The result, however, can include hefty fines and even time in jail or prison.

 

State and federal laws make it a crime to use dishonesty to obtain prescription drugs, but it is not just patients who are at risk; doctors and pharmacists can also be charged for dispensing a drug if the prescription is not valid.

 

If you are facing a prescription drug fraud charge in Texas, do not wait to get help. You need to have an experienced Dallas drug crime attorney like Jeff King fighting for your rights from the beginning of the process.

What Is Prescription Drug Fraud?

Prescription drug fraud is a the act of illegally acquiring or dispensing prescription drugs, whether they are intended for personal use or for sale.

 

Both federal and Texas statutes make prescription fraud illegal. The federal Controlled Substances Act is found at Subchapter 1 – Control and Enforcement of U.S. Code Title 21 – Food and Drugs, Chapter 13 – Drug Abuse Prevention and Control, and it affects medical professionals, who the government has increasingly targeted with prescription fraud charges.

 

To charge a doctor under the Controlled Substances Act, the government has the burden of showing that he or she knowingly or intentionally prescribed a medication that was:

  1. Not for a legitimate medical purpose or
  2. In a way that was outside the usual course of professional practice

Since doctors do not have crystal balls to consult when listening to patients’ subjective complaints, it can be merely a matter of professional opinion whether a prescription was valid. When facing prescription drug-related criminal charges, it is important to retain a lawyer who understands these factors and how they may impact your case.

 

Like the federal law, the Texas Controlled Substances Act makes it illegal for medical professionals to distribute controlled substances except as authorized under the federal Act. The Texas law also makes it a crime for individuals to use fraud, forgery, deception, or misrepresentation to obtain a controlled substance.

Common examples of prescription fraud

Some of the common prescription drug fraud accusations brought against non-doctors include:

  • Doctor shopping – Visiting multiple doctors to obtain more prescriptions than any one person should be prescribed.
  • Creating counterfeit prescriptions such as by altering legitimate prescriptions, by using stolen doctors’ pads or computer software, or by attempting to re-use old prescriptions.
  • Misrepresenting one’s identity such as by impersonating a doctor or using someone else’s identification to obtain a prescription.

Do not roll the dice with a lawyer who has not handled prescription fraud cases. Attorney Jeff King in Dallas, TX has experience defending against these and other types of criminal drug charges.

What Are the Penalties For Prescription Drug Fraud?

With a recent nationwide epidemic of drug overdoses, authorities are taking a firm stance against unauthorized possession of prescription drugs. A conviction can land you in jail for several years and the stakes are even higher if the offense occurred in certain areas, like near a school or church or on federal property.

 

The penalty for drug fraud can easily include jail time depending on the type of drug and circumstances involved. Anyone convicted of distributing a controlled substance found on the Texas Health and Safety Code’s Schedule I or Schedule II will be guilty of a second degree felony and face up to 20 years in prison and the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.

 

If the controlled substance was listed on Schedule III or Schedule IV, it constitutes a third degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and the possibility of a fine. If the substance was found on Schedule V, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year and jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

 

Criminal charges under federal laws are also harsh and come with statutory minimums. When faced with federal or state drug fraud charges, the stakes are high and you need to choose a legal representative who has seen it all before. Attorney Jeff King has represented people charged with all types of drug offenses, including prescription fraud.

How a prescription drug fraud lawyer can help

Prescription drug fraud charges are serious business, but they are not the end of the story. Like any criminal charge, the a prosecutor must be able to prove the case or they are not entitled to a conviction. A drug crime attorney plays a critical role in holding the prosecution accountable by:

  • Examining the evidence – is there enough evidence to legally bring charges?
  • Protecting the accused’s rights – did the police or prosecutors violate any constitutional rights in obtaining evidence, detaining the individual, or at any other step in the process?

An experienced attorney will examine these and other factors to potentially find ways to preserve your freedom.

 

If you are facing drug fraud charges in Texas, call attorney Jeff King to find out how his knowledge and experience can help you present a strong defense. Call or email today for more information.

Additional prescription drug fraud resources

  1. University of Alabama Center for Problem-Oriented Policy, Prescription Drug Fraud and Misuse, http://www.popcenter.org/problems/prescription_fraud/
  2. LII, 21 U.S. § 828 – Prescriptions, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/829
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JEFFERY KING, PLLC.
2626 Cole Ave.
Suite 415
Dallas, Texas 75204
T: 469-399-7001
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