The growing national crisis of prescription drug abuse has led prosecutors in Colorado to crack down on prescription drug fraud. Obtaining prescription drugs through fraud or deceit is a serious drug crime in the Centennial State.
You will lose your license to practice if you are convicted of the offense as a licensed medical professional. You will also be fired from your job and may be barred from practicing the profession. Even if you aren’t a licensed medical professional, conviction of prescription drug fraud will still affect your life. You will lose some of your fundamental rights and have a difficult time finding employment.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Your top priority right now should be finding legal counsel experienced in defending prescription drug fraud. A criminal defense attorney can advocate on your behalf and fight to have your charges reduce or dropped. Don’t delay. The sooner you contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. has been defending clients of criminal offenses in Colorado for nearly 20 years. Some of the areas we serve include El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
- What is Prescription Drug Fraud?
- Is Prescription Drug Fraud a Felony?
- Related Offenses
- Additional Resources
What is Prescription Drug Fraud?
Prescription drug fraud is a crime on the rise in America. With the increase in Americans using prescription drugs, many of them end up addicted and resort to fraud to obtain more when they run out. Prescription drug fraud is the attempt to falsify or fraudulently fill a prescription.
There are various ways the offense can be committed, such as:
- Doctor shopping: This act involves visiting numerous medical professionals to secure multiple prescriptions for a drug. Generally, those taking part in this practice are trying to obtain drugs to feed an addiction or illegally sell.
- Forging prescriptions: Many prescriptions are handed to a patient on a small piece of paper. Changing what is written in this paper is a serious crime in Colorado. Forging a prescription can also be done by stealing a prescription pad, creating a prescription with a computer, changing the name of the drug, its dosage and number of refills.
- Writing unnecessary prescriptions: It’s not uncommon for a medical professional to be charged with prescription fraud. Some of the illegal acts that can lead to charges for the crime are prescribing for an illegitimate purpose or outside the realm of a medical practice.
- Filing false police report: Some drug abusers may file a false police report claiming a drug has been stolen so they can obtain more of the prescription. Under Colorado law, this practice is a form of prescription drug fraud.
Is Prescription Drug Fraud a Felony?
Prescription drug fraud is a serious drug crime under the Uniform Controlled Substance Act of 2013. The offense is a level 4 drug felony punishable by six to 12 months behind bars and fines between $1,000 and $100,000.
Many people commit prescription drug fraud because they are addicted to opioids or other prescription medications. If you have a substance abuse problem, you may be eligible to receive treatment as an alternative to incarceration. This is called deferred sentencing, which requires you to complete treatment and other court-ordered conditions. As a result, the court will reduce the felony charge to a level 1 drug misdemeanor.
Contact a criminal defense attorney to see if deferred sentencing is the best choice for your situation.
Prescription fraud can lead to additional criminal charges. It’s advised you seek legal representation if you have been charged with additional crimes related to prescription drug fraud. You can end up spending additional time in prison and lose your chances to attend drug treatment.
Crimes commonly associated with prescription drug fraud include:
- Forgery: Forgery is commonly associated with prescription drug fraud since the offense can involve forging or altering prescriptions to obtain medications. Forgery is a class 5 felony in Colorado punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Unlawful Possession of a controlled substance: The vast majority of prescription medications obtained through prescription drug fraud are controlled substances. Controlled substances associated with prescription drug fraud includes Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall or Fentanyl. Unlawful possession can be charged as a level 4 drug felony or level 1 drug misdemeanor depending on the drug in possession.
- Unlawful distribution or sale: Prescription drug fraud is often employed to obtain drugs to be illegally sold. As with unlawful possession, unlawful distribution is charged based on the drug involved and the quantity. Charges can range from a level 1 drug misdemeanor to a level 1 drug felony.
Fraud and Deceit | Uniform Controlled Substance Act of 2013 – Follow the link provided to read the section over fraud and deceit in the Uniform Controlled Substance Act. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime, acts considered prescription drug fraud and how it’s charged.
Fourth Judicial District Drug Court – View a PDF from the Fourth Judicial District of Colorado to learn more about drug court. You can gain access to information about who’s eligible, general rules and requirements and phases of the process.
Prescription Drug Fraud Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges against you. Take the next step and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will stop at nothing to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for your situation. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.