Utah Prescription Fraud Lawyer
Unlike some other types of crime that tend to attract those with prior criminal histories, many of those who are arrested and prosecuted for prescription drug fraud have never had so much as a speeding ticket before. Prescription drug fraud charges can often be levied against professionals – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others – who have been trained to provide medical care or treatment to patients.
Prescription fraud, forgery, or obtaining a prescription under false pretenses can be charged as a felony in Utah. A felony conviction can have a major impact on everything from your career opportunities to where you can live or even whether you’re allowed to own a firearm.
Although being charged with a crime, particularly as a first-time defendant, can be a shocking and even embarrassing experience, it’s crucial to secure high-quality legal representation as quickly as possible after your arrest.
Wasatch Defense Lawyers, based in Salt Lake City, has extensive experience defending against prescription fraud and other drug charges. Contact us today for a consultation on your case to see how we can help.
What Actions Can Be Charged as Prescription Fraud?
Utah law criminalizes an individual’s knowledge or intentional acquisition of any controlled substance by misrepresentation or failure to disclose relevant information. This may include altering a prescription, stealing a prescription slip (or bottle) from its rightful owner, or otherwise receiving a prescription controlled substance without a valid prescription.
In addition, you could be charged with prescription fraud if you misrepresent your own symptoms to a doctor or other practitioner to obtain a prescription that would not be granted under the true circumstances, or if you impersonate a doctor yourself in order to have a prescription filled or refilled.
In some cases, defendants have been charged for simply possessing “too many” prescription pills, even when the defendant holds a valid prescription for this medication. Carrying loose pills in your pocket or putting them in an unlabeled bottle can lead to prescription fraud charges under this provision.
What Penalties May You Face Upon Conviction?
If you’re convicted of felony prescription drug fraud in a Utah court, you could face prison time, a term of probation (with conditions), and the imposition of some steep monetary fines and penalties.
The sentence imposed for a prescription fraud case can depend largely on the aggravating and mitigating factors present. Those with no prior criminal history, who have taken steps to curb their drug addiction, or who have attempted to make restitution for their crime can often receive a sentence on the lighter end of the scale, while those with previous criminal convictions or who engaged in particularly unsavory actions in furtherance of the prescription fraud can receive the harshest penalties.
The severity of the punishment you’ll face also depends on the type of drug you’re alleged to have fraudulently obtained (or sold). For example, prescription fraud related to Schedule I and II controlled substances (including GHB, the “date rape” drug) is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Meanwhile, those convicted of prescription fraud of Schedule III and IV controlled substances or marijuana will be subject to the penalties for a third-degree felony, while those who used fraud to obtain a Schedule V drug may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor.
Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers Today to Discuss Your Prescription Fraud Case
If you’ve found yourself facing a prescription fraud charge under Utah law, you’ll need the service of an attorney with in-depth knowledge prescription fraud law knowledge. Call the Wasatch Defense Lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our sharp and experienced Salt Lake City defense attorneys.