Prescription Drug Fraud
Whenever we talk about illegal drugs, we are usually talking about cocaine, marijuana, heroin, or other illicit substances. However, federal and Pennsylvania law doesn’t just prohibit the possession of these drugs, as it also place criminal penalties on illegal possession of prescription drugs. Additionally, the law criminalizes obtaining prescription drugs by any fraudulent means.
Philadelphia Prescription Drug Lawyer
Prescription drug charges are a serious matter. A serious Philadelphia prescription drug lawyer will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and show the holes in the prosecution's case to the jury. At Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys stand up to prosecutors on prescription drug charges, including accusations of illegal possession, prescription forgery, or any other criminal matter. A strong defense can make a big difference in whether you have jail or liberty in your future. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
We represent those facing prescription drug charges in Philadelphia and throughout the area, including Montgomery County, Chester County, Bucks County, and Delaware County, as well as New Jersey.
Prescription Drug Charges Info
- Prescription Drugs Illegal Without Prescription in Pennsylvania
- Prescription Fraud and Forgery in Philadelphia
Both the Federal Controlled Substances Act and the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act ban the mere possession of a host of substances, many of which are well-known. These laws also ban the possession of several common prescription drugs without a legal, valid prescription written by a doctor or other person authorized by law to write prescriptions.
The list of substances illegal to possess without a prescription includes the following:
- Diazepam, or Valium
- Oxymorphone, or Oxycontin
- Oxycodone, or Percocet
- Hydrocodone, or Vicodin
- Alprazolam, or Xanax
- Meperidine, or Demerol
- Amphetamines, such as Adderall
Many people believe that they will not face significant penalties for possession of controlled substances that are legal with a prescription, but that is not true. The mere possession of any of these drugs without a prescription is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $5,000.
In any situation other than a licensed person giving prescription drugs to a person with a valid prescription, the person selling or distributing the drugs could face possession with intent to distribute charges (PWID). Even a pharmacist who is licensed to distribute drugs can be convicted of PWID if he distributes them to people who do not have valid prescriptions.
PWID charges are usually felonies, but they can be misdemeanors with certain prescription medications, such as cough medications. Drugs are divided into "schedules," or lists of drugs. Schedules IV and V contain many of the prescription medications. Schedule III includes anabolic steroids, and Schedules I and II include many painkillers.
A misdemeanor PWID charge for a Schedule V drug results in up to a year in jail and a fine up to $5,000. If the drug was Schedule IV, it could result in up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Any Schedule I, II or III drug will results in up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Under 35 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 780-113(a)(12), it is illegal to obtain any controlled substance through fraud, forgery, deceit, subterfuge, or misrepresentation. This includes any effort to use a fake or altered prescription, or a prescription not made out to that person. It would also include any effort to call in a fake prescription while pretending to be a doctor, or stealing a prescription pad from a doctor.
Depending on the specific prescription fraud allegations, you may also face charges for fraud or forgery, which may be more serious charges than simple possession.
Furthermore, if you are a doctor or other medical professional charged with billing Medicare, Medicaid, or an insurance company for fake prescriptions, you may face felony fraud charges. Your Philadelphia drug defense attorney will need to be licensed in the federal court, and, at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, we are proud to practice in Pennsylvania federal courts.
Fighting Prescription Drugs Charges in Pennsylvania
Any prescription drug charge can result in serious penalties. You'll want a strong defense that can fight back against prosecutors. By hiring a lawyer at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, you will have an experienced Philadelphia prescription drug lawyer that will challenge the prosecution's evidence and seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation.