helps people win back their lives
Prescription drugs were rarely connected with large-scale illegal drug activity in Michigan until recently. Unfortunately, the situation has changed drastically in the past several years. Illegal distribution and use of prescription drugs have both skyrocketed and have become a matter of serious concern for both federal law enforcement agencies and state criminal law enforcement.
Consequently, anyone charged with fraud related to prescription drugs is advised to consult a knowledgeable Michigan prescription fraud lawyer for advice and assistance. A healthcare fraud defense attorney who understands prescription fraud cases can help collect evidence and devise the right defensive strategy to work toward a positive outcome.Medication Fraud May Take Many Forms
Fraud is a legal term that generally refers to deliberately deceiving another person to obtain a personal benefit illegally. Concerning prescription drugs, someone may take fraudulent actions to obtain drugs or commit fraud in the distribution of drugs.
Prescription fraud charges could be levied against doctors, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and those individuals taking prescription drugs or selling them to others. Examples of conduct that could be treated as prescription fraud include:
- Creating fake prescription slips or stealing prescription slips
- Pretending to be a doctor to call in a prescription
- Altering a prescription by changing the medication, dosage or quantity
- Illegally purchasing drugs online
- Prescribing a drug without a legitimate reason or outside the ordinary course of practice
- Photocopying a prescription to obtain additional drugs
- "Doctor shopping" to obtain prescriptions from several providers at the same time
- Hospitals or providers obtaining subsidized medications under false pretenses and reselling them for a profit
Prescription fraud may be penalized very severely even if an offense appears to be minor or the result of a mistake. A prescription fraud lawyer in Michigan could offer further clarification about what types of actions may warrant criminal charges and the ensuing potential penalties.Laws Applicable to Prescription Fraud
Both federal and state laws regulate the use of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs and other controlled substances are classified according to their potential for abuse compared with their accepted medical uses.
Drugs that are addictive and may be used illegally to get high are considered more dangerous than other substances, and the restrictions regarding prescription of these substances are stricter than for other drugs. There are five different classifications, with Class I substances being those with great potential for abuse and no federally accepted medical use and Class V being those with very low potential for abuse.
Laws applicable to prescription drugs include 21 U.S.C. §829. This federal statute establishes more stringent standards for Class II substances such as oxycodone than for Class III and IV substances such as Tylenol with codeine and Valium.
Prescription fraud is addressed more directly in Michigan Compiled Laws §333.7407. This state statute specifically prohibits acquiring a controlled substance by "fraud, forgery or deception," and also prohibits possession of counterfeit prescription forms and other specific actions. No matter what particular statute or code section is used to levy a criminal charge against you in Michigan, a skilled attorney could help you with your prescription fraud case.Penalties a Defendant May Face
Violation of the state statute covering prescription drug fraud is a felony. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. If prosecuted as a federal crime, the potential penalties are less predictable.
In many federal cases involving medication fraud, the penalties for individuals charged with conspiracy vary depending on the nature and quantity of drugs involved. In conspiracy cases, an individual may be penalized based on the quantity and the quantities of drugs with which they personally were involved in the entire conspiracy.Get Help from a Michigan Prescription Fraud Attorney
Prescription fraud is a severe felony requiring a strong defensive strategy. If you are facing criminal charges in connection with prescription drugs, it may be vital for you to understand the potential ramifications and your options for proceeding, as well as how to protect your rights.
When you work with a Michigan prescription fraud lawyer, your attorney can begin right away to provide advice and collect evidence to build your best defense. Your options and available evidence may decrease as time passes, so it could be wise to act as soon as possible. For a free case evaluation to learn how seasoned legal counsel can help in your situation, call now.