Defense Law Firm Helping Residents In Fort Walton Beach, Destin & Elsewhere In Okaloosa County Charged With Prescription Drug Fraud
There are two main categories of Prescription Drug Fraud Crimes. The first is called Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance.
The second, and much more commonly charged type is called Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud. These two types of charges are very similar, but there are some distinct differences. In some situations, however, it is possible for these two crimes to be charged together.
What is Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance?
Under Fla. Stat. §831.311 uttering of a controlled substance is the intent to pass, publish or present counterfeit-resistant prescription blanks for controlled substances under the Department of Health’s rule pursuant to Fla. Stat. §893.065. When this crime is charged, it almost always involves the use of a doctor’s prescription pad and a forged signature.
What are the elements of Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance?
To prove the act of uttering a controlled substance there are three elements the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant sold, manufactured, delivered, uttered or possessed any counterfeit-prescription blanks for controlled substance.
- The prescription blanks were in the form and content under the rule of the Department of Health.
- The intent to defraud, injury or facilitate under Fla. Stat. §893.13.
What are the Penalties for Uttering a Prescription of a Controlled Substance?
Uttering of a controlled substance is a third degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years and $5,000 in fines.
If the defendant is a habitual felony offender as provided in Fla. Stat. §774.084(4)(a) the Court may impose an extend prison term.
What is Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud?
Under Fla. Stat. §893.13(7)(a)(9), obtaining or attempting to obtain or acquire a controlled substance by forgery, misrepresentation, fraud or deception. This is a felony crime, and it is charged in situations where a person attempts to get a prescription filled without a valid script.
It also includes cases where the number of pills or the amount of the prescription was increased. This also applies to the number of refills permitted.
This crime is most commonly associated with painkillers and opiate derivative drugs, as well as amphetamine based compounds.
What are the elements of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud?
To prove the act of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud there are three elements the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant possessed, obtained or attempted to posses or obtain a controlled substance.
- The substance was in fact a controlled substance under Fla. Stat. 893.03.
- The substance was obtained, possessed or attempted to be obtained or possessed by fraud, misrepresentation, forgery or deception.
What are the Penalties for Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud?
Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud is a generally treated a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Since it could also be charged as a companion offense to Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, additional felony sentencing exposure may apply.
And if the amount possessed is substantial, it may lead to a drug trafficking charge and the possibility of minimum mandatory incarceration.
If you or a family member has been arrested for Prescription Drug Fraud in Destin, Fort Walton Beach or anywhere else in Okaloosa County, call (850) 362-6655. The call is free.