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Los Angeles Prescription Fraud Attorney

Are you dealing with prescription fraud charges in California? Then contact a California prescription fraud attorney who will fight for you in your time of need.

Have you been charged with prescription fraud involving a controlled substance? The laws governing this offense have gone through radical changes over the past several years. Because California has determined that illegal drugs (including legal drugs obtained illegally) are taking a toll on the people of California, the state has revamped the rules regarding prescription drugs. Those changes have affected the way prescription drugs are obtained, and the method prescribers must abide by in order to provide access to the drugs. In light of these changes, you will want to hire an experienced drug crimes lawyer to defend against the offense(s) you are facing.

What is Prescription Fraud?

The rules governing prescriptions for controlled substances are contained in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, HSC 11150 and the sections that follow. The law begins by stating, as you might expect, that no one other than a physician, a nurse practitioner, a dentist, veterinarian, optometrist (among others) shall write a prescription for a controlled substance. The Act also states that no one may obtain a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, or subterfuge. HSC 11173(a).

The following are some examples of prescription fraud charges involving controlled substances:

  • Forged prescriptions. A person steals a prescription pad from a doctor’s office. The person proceeds to fill out the prescription for a controlled substance and changes the telephone number on the prescription to one answered by a friend.
  • Altered prescriptions. A patient obtains a prescription from the doctor for a controlled substance. The patient then alters the prescription to increase the quantity of the drug in question.

In California, numerous changes in the law over the past 20 years have significantly reduced the chances of successful prescription fraud involving controlled substances. The changes include the use of controlled substance prescription pads containing over a dozen distinctive features that are difficult to reproduce. There are also limitations on refills that have made these drugs more difficult to obtain via prescription fraud.

At the other end of the fraud section are doctors, pharmacists and others who provide controlled substances in the form of a prescription. It includes the writing of a fraudulent prescription by a doctor or other medical professional, as well as pharmacies that improperly dispense controlled substances.

Defenses to Charges of Controlled Substance Prescription Fraud

The penalties for prescription fraud involving controlled substances can be severe. Most of these offenses in California are wobblers, and in some cases can result in a felony conviction and a sentence of years in prison. Illegally possessing or distributing a controlled substance is also a felony under federal law (21 U.S.C. 841). Federal law also prohibits attempting or conspiring with other persons to violate this statute.

Prescription fraud charges range from filling a prescription for another person, to doctor shopping, to selling drugs (originally prescribed to you) to another person, among others; on the other hand, not every instance of improperly providing a prescription/controlled substance constitutes prescription fraud. In addition, there are a number of defenses that may apply in your case. They include:

  • Lack of Criminal Intent. You believed that the doctor you saw was a licensed medical professional who issued you the prescription for legal purposes. You did not knowingly provide false information in order to obtain the prescription.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure. When the primary evidence – the drugs themselves – were obtained without a search warrant (or with a defective warrant) or probable cause, the drugs may be excluded from being introduced at trial.
  • Mistake. The prescription was written by the doctor based upon a good faith belief that it was appropriate, but the doctor mistakenly prescribed a controlled substance to a person, thinking, for example, that the person was someone else. Again, there is no criminal intent, but rather, at worst, negligence.

The important thing to remember is that merely being charged with or investigated for prescription fraud involving a controlled substance does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. At CBS Law, we have years of experience successfully defending state and federal charges, including those involving drugs,

Los Angeles Prescription Fraud Defense Attorney

If you are facing prosecution in California or in federal court involving controlled substance prescription fraud, CBS Law can help. These can be complex cases involving lengthy government involvement, and a slip-up at any point can provide the foundation for a successful defense. We will investigate the facts and provide you with an honest and accurate assessment of your case. If there are any weak points in the prosecution’s case against you, we will find and exploit them. Contact us for a free consultation. Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005

Do NOT speak to law enforcement or investigators about your prescription fraud charge, as that information can and will be used against you in a court of law.
imgChristopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law

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