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.

“Competent and Compassionate”

I found Jeff to be a competent and compassionate advocate. As a client, he was the “voice” that I needed him to be to achieve a good result. He allowed me to communicate my needs to him and then diligently went to work to attain them. I would recommend him without hesitation.

“I was given a fair and positive outcome.”

With the type circumstance I had, it was not a hard case nor one that required a court visit or in front of a Judge but it did take some research and many hours of information gathering. I was given to the point, fair and accurate information by Jeffery King and he stuck with me through the whole ordeal. This was not only vital but very personable and I appreciated that to the fullest. I felt comfortable and positive through the entire situation and was given a fair and positive outcome. I thank Jeff King and his other staff that were involved for all they did.

“Prepared, Aggressive & Passionate about the Defense”

As the father of a recent active duty Air Force client of Mr. King’s, and being intimately involved day to day with the case, I can say without hesitation nor mental reservation, Jeff King is a consummate professional. Jeff was not only prepared, aggressive, and passionate about the defense, he also made the time to explain in detail every facet of the trial as it progressed. Having an attorney of Jeff’s caliber in our corner bestowed a feeling of confidence to our family, which was a critical factor in our ability to manage the stressfulness inherent to such serious allegations. Jeff prepared the entire family for every scenario, good and bad, and for that we are forever grateful. Upon receipt of the not guilty verdict and celebrating the obvious joy we felt that this “created adventure” had now come to an end, also came the realization that not only had he won this case, and with it our son’s continued freedom and innocence, but we had made a friend of the highest regard. Our family cannot thank Mr. King enough for his excellent representation on behalf of our son, but also for the lofty amount of integrity and humility demonstrated during the most trying time of our lives. Much respect and Semper Fi.

“Jeff is the best!”

I thought my life was over when I was accused of a horrible crime at a general court-martial. From the moment I met Jeff, he instilled confidence in my case and showed a real enthusiasm for what he does. Be warned: Jeff will put you to work! He prepares for battle and expects you to contribute. He is confident in court and I enjoyed watching the jury respond to him. In the end, I was found NOT GUILTY to all charges! I am so grateful that I hired Jeff to defend me.

“Jeff sets the standard.”

Jeff was amazing! He handled my case through the end of the Article 32 hearing, and set the basis for my acquittal. If it had been any other IO than the one it was, I am certain it would have been dismissed right then, as all the objections he made in the Article 32 were later upheld by the Military Judge, and they been upheld at the Article 32 hearing, it would have been dismissed on the spot. His knowledge, and preparation made all the difference in my case, and his relentless pursuit of the truth showed through. He will always be my first recommendation to anyone who needs legal help.

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 Resources

    1. University of Alabama Center for Problem-Oriented Policy, Prescription Drug Fraud and Misuse,
    2. LII, 21 U.S. § 828 – Prescriptions,

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