If you are looking for a Los Angeles prescription drug fraud attorney to represent you, don’t hesitate to call us. At LLuis Law we have over 50 years of combined legal practice dealing with these cases.
We are specialist Los Angeles drug crimes lawyers with a very high record of successful cases. Our well-earned reputation as the best lawyers for drug fraud cases is based on 3 main reasons.:
- We offer an aggressive defense.
- We protect client rights.
- We accompany you at all stages of the process.
California prescription drug fraud
California’s drug laws don’t just cover controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and marijuana. They also include abuse of illegal prescriptions and possession or sale of drugs without a prescription.
Fraudulently issuing or obtaining a prescription is considered a felony in the state. For this offense, both the doctor and the recipient of the prescription can be jailed and fined. In addition to incarceration, prescription fraud can lead to the loss of a professional doctor’s license.
This crime is criminalized in California Health and Safety Codes 11153 and 11173 . The two statutes are considered judicially “unstable” , since the prosecutor decides the seriousness of the crime charged. That is, you can classify prescription drug fraud as a misdemeanor or felony.
Definition of drug prescription fraud
Drug prescription fraud involves altering prescriptions written to increase the amount of prescribed medical drugs. For example, pills or syrups or counterfeiting prescriptions in a print shop.
If your case is due more to an accident caused by the use of a defective product, check the section ” Los Angeles product liability lawyers“.
Illegal possession of prescription drugs
Possessing a restricted-use medication without a valid prescription is sanctioned by law. The California Health and Safety Code, Section 11350 HSC considers it a crime.
This includes, but is not limited to, the following pain relievers and anxiolytics:
After passing Proposition 47 this offense was reduced to a misdemeanor in many cases. Normally, their punishment does not exceed 1 year in prison or the payment of fines depending on the amount and circumstances.
Drug diversion program
- The judge can substitute a prison term for a drug diversion program. The PC Penal Code, Section 1000 authorizes this with the deferred entry of the trial. Upon successful completion of this program the charges are dismissed.
- If you do not qualify for this program, your Los Angeles prescription drug fraud attorney can apply for the benefits of the so-called Proposition 36. Through this remedy the defendant can undergo drug prevention treatment.
The benefit of participating in a drug program is that the defendant need not plead guilty to the charges. However, we advise you to check with your attorney first about which of the two legal options is best for you.
At Lluis Law we always seek the greatest benefits for our clients. We make them fully understand drug law and the legal resources available.
We are also immigration lawyers. So if you are an immigrant you will have a stronger defense with us by your side.
Possession of prescription drugs with intent to sell
- Section 11351 HSC: Penalizes possession of prescription drugs as a crime.
- Section 11352 HSC: Sanctions the sale of prescription drugs.
The only authorized, according to this section of the code, are pharmacists. They have the legal permission to own and sell this type of medicine due to the nature of their work.
Los Angeles doctor bribery and prescription fraud
Possession of prescription drugs obtained through criminal bribery of doctors or prescription fraud is also punishable in California. Section 11173 of the Health and Safety Code considers it illegal to obtain controlled substances by illicit means.
Punish people who obtain these drugs through deception, concealment of information, fraud or subterfuge. If you are found guilty of a serious crime, the maximum penalty is 3 years in prison.
The criminal act involves obtaining additional prescriptions after attending various medical consultations. It is usually done by people who become addicted to certain prescription drugs.
- Section 11368 HSC: Up to 3 years in prison for prescription falsification.
- Section 11154 (a) HSC: Physicians who illegally prescribe medication or any controlled substance are subject to sanction as well. Through bribes, sick people or drug dealers buy prescriptions from doctors to obtain these drugs.
- Section 11156 HSC: Doctors who prescribe certain medications to known drug addicts may also be penalized. This form of crime is considered serious as well.
Penalties for physicians include loss of professional license and disciplinary measures issued by the California Medical Board.
Punishments for the crime of prescription fraud
Purchase and prescription fraud is provided for in Section 11173 (a) of the Health and Safety Code. California justice punishes it with penalties of up to three years in prison in a state jail if convicted. If the crime is classified as a minor one, the penalty may be less than one year in prison.
Furthermore, the doctor who issues fraudulent prescriptions violates the Health and Safety Code Section. You could face up to a year in prison in a state jail and pay a fine of up to $ 20,000.
The penalties for the crime of fraud are as follows:
- Minor offences. Up to 1 year in prison in a county jail and a fine of up to $ 1,000, or both.
- Serious crimes. 16 months to 3 years in prison in a county jail and a fine of up to $ 20,000, or both.
Prescription fraud includes the following illegal acts:
- Theft of prescription drugs / medications in general.
- Theft of prescription pads.
- Forge recipes.
- Manipulation of medical prescriptions.
- Prepare medical prescriptions for non-existent patients.
- Obtain prescriptions from various doctors or providers.
- Prescribing excess medications to a patient.
- Change the information or content of the recipe. For example, the phone number or quantity of prescribed medications.
- Give or sell prescription drugs to people without a prescription.
With the help of a good criminal lawyer is possible to reduce or eliminate charges for prescription drug fraud. If it is the first time that the offender has been accused of this crime.
At Lluis Law we know how to handle these cases and weigh if possible an advantageous negotiation with the prosecutor.
To be prosecuted for prescription fraud, the prosecutor must prove that the prescription was obtained by illegal means. Consequently, the criminal defense attorney should attempt to demonstrate that:
- There was no deception or fraud in obtaining the prescription, but rather a prescription error on the part of the doctor.
- The doctor administered the prescription consciously and for appropriate medical reasons.
- The visit to several doctors was for the purpose of obtaining a second opinion. Although the patient did not fully disclose the facts to each of the doctors visited, there was no intention to commit a crime.
Benefits of hiring a lawyer
Being charged with the crime of prescription fraud or forgery does not mean that you will be convicted. During the examination of the case, mitigating elements or a reasonable explanation for the defense may be discovered.
There are honest people who make mistakes, lose their minds, suffer depression and become addicted to certain medications. When they find it difficult to obtain them, they then resort to illegal practices sanctioned by law.
Anyone can be accused of this crime: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patients and others. In such a situation the benefits of hiring an experienced attorney are many to ensure a good defense.
If you need a Los Angeles prescription drug fraud attorney, call us. At Lluis Law we pay special attention to each case and offer the legal representation service that every client deserves.