Defense against Prescription Drugs Fraud and Misuse Charges in Arizona
Prescription drugs are legal when they are prescribed by your doctor for you, to treat a specific condition from which you suffer, and when they are obtained without resorting to fraud or doctor shopping. In Arizona, as in much of the United States, prescription drug crimes have become a significant problem, one the State is trying to end through rigorous prosecution of doctors who prescribe controlled medications knowingly to patients who shouldn’t have them, and of people who misrepresent their need for certain medications and obtain them through fraud. Arizona has the sixth highest drug overdose fatality rate in the United States. Most of these deaths are from prescription drugs.
In many cases, a patient is prescribed a pharmaceutical drug legitimately and becomes dependent, increasing the dose to a level of abuse, requiring ever increasing amounts to deliver the same effect.
What is Prescription Drugs Fraud in Arizona?
Examples of prescription fraud as delineated in Arizona law include these, among others:
- Obtaining a prescription-only drug without a valid prescription
- Forging a prescription
- Stealing or otherwise obtaining and using a prescription pad
- Calling a fraudulent prescription in to a pharmacy
- Using another person’s prescription medication
- Taking any prescription medication that was not specifically prescribed for you
- Altering a written prescription by adding digits to the amount, or by changing the date or name on the prescription
- Doctor shopping to obtain a prescription fraudulently for a condition you don’t have or for more than you would typically need
- Selling a prescription drug prescribed for you to someone else
- Pharmacists knowingly dispensing a medication without a prescription or with an invalid prescription
- Pharmacists, doctors, and pain clinic employees who take the facility’s drugs for their own use or use fraudulent methods to dispense drugs for personal financial gain.
Potential Consequences of a Prescription Drug Crime Conviction
For a health care professional, being convicted of a prescription fraud charge can be a career-ender, in addition to the legal penalties, which potentially include prison and fines, along with other long-term consequences that come with having any criminal record, especially a felony conviction.
Prescription drug abuse is a habit that frequently ensnares people who are generally law abiding in every other way, and who never imagine they could be convicted of a crime. Possession or use of a prescription-only drug without a valid prescription in Arizona is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by six months in jail term and a fine of up to $1000.
Sale or transfer of a prescription-only drug is a Class 6 felony, punishable by as much as two years in prison, a $1,000 fine and 240 hours of community service, with enhanced sentences for repeat offenders.
What Drugs Are Most Commonly Obtained Illegally?
The most in-demand prescription medications for illegal use are pain killers, anxiety medications, and amphetamines, which are used legitimately for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity, but in great demand by college students to help with studying.
Some of the most commonly abused drugs are:
- Medical marijuana
Because of the severe negative effects that a prescription drug conviction can have on your life, you should obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are facing charges.
Call Howard Snader to Protect Your Rights
If you have been accused of illegal use or sale of a prescription-only medication, you need immediate help from an experienced drug defense attorney. A conviction will leave an indelible imprint on your life and reputation and will have negative consequences that will follow you for years. Don’t take a chance with an overworked public defender, even if your income qualifies you for one.
In Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the surrounding area, you will find the experienced and focused legal help you need when you call the law office of attorney Howard A. Snader, LLC.
A former Maricopa County prosecutor, Howard devotes his law practice exclusively to the defense of the accused. His passion for the Constitution and tireless commitment to justice have earned him the respect of clients and peers in the legal community. He understands that good people may find themselves in bad situations, and will work diligently to achieve the best outcome for you. He is often able to avoid having charges filed or to have them dismissed or reduced, and he is a skilled trial attorney who has won numerous acquittals for his clients in jury trials. He will never railroad you into a plea bargain simply for expediency if it is not in your best interest.
For the legal representation you need to obtain the best possible results with the least possible harm to your life and your reputation, call Howard Snader immediately if you’ve been arrested, investigated, or questioned. Don’t answer any questions until Howard arrives, to ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld. The first consultation is free, and payment arrangements are available.