Just as there are state and federal statutes that prohibit the unlawful possession, sale, trafficking, manufacturing, and distribution of controlled substances, such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, there are laws that regulate the unlawful possession and distribution of prescription drugs, particularly ones that are known to be used recreationally. Among the most common are Adderall, Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium, and Xanax. Violations of prescription drug laws are usually met with criminal charges, the penalties of which are significant and have the potential to devastate the lives of those accused.
At the Law Offices of David A. Stein, we maintain professionalism for each and every case while sustaining personal relationships with our clients. Open communication is one of the main tenets behind our practice. If you decide to have us represent you, we will make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your rights and options at every stage of your case. To learn more about what our Irvine prescription drug crime defense lawyers can do for you, please call us today at (949) 445-0040.
A Crack Down on Prescription Drugs
In recent years, prescription drugs, especially highly addictive painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin, have seen a steady rise in popularity all across the nation. Lawmakers in the state of California have been putting in a concentrated effort to stem the epidemic by enforcing serious penalties for prescription drug fraud, forgery, and doctor shopping.
What are Laws and Penalties for Prescription Fraud in California?
Health & Safety Code Section 11173 pertains to prescription fraud. It states, “No person shall obtain or attempt to obtain controlled substances, or procure or attempt to procure the administration of or prescription for controlled substances, (1) by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge; or (2) by the concealment of a material fact.” For example, an individual cannot pretend to be a pharmacist or forge prescription drug labels for the purposes of obtaining controlled substances.
Prescription fraud is considered a “wobbler” in California, meaning it may be filed as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances of each specific case and the discretion of the prosecution. A conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to three years or a jail sentence of up to one year.
What is Doctor Shopping?
An individual commits the illegal action of “doctor shopping” when he or she patronizes multiple pharmacies and other providers to receive multiple drug prescriptions without letting the providers know about each other. This type of illegal scheme falls under prescription fraud laws.
The compassionate legal team at the Law Offices of David A. Stein understands the struggles that come with drug addiction and have helped many clients in the past get their lives back together. Drug offenses are non-violent issues that should be met with reformative measures rather than punitive ones. We will do whatever we can to help you avoid devastating penalties by negotiating alternative sentencing options or even dropped charges, if at all possible. Contact our office today to get started on protecting your future.