Prescription Fraud Charges Pennsylvania
What Happens if You Are Charged with Prescription Fraud or Illegal Prescription Drug Possession in Pennsylvania?
The use of illegal prescription medication is on the rise in Pennsylvania as more people are suffering from addiction. Obtaining prescription medication illegally, whether for personal use or for profit, is known as prescription fraud.
The hassle and costs of obtaining prescription drugs legally may be driving some people to find other ways of getting the medication they need. Even so, the consequences and punishment for a conviction of prescription fraud are more severe than if the charges were for simple possession of cocaine or heroin.
While it may have seemed like a harmless thing to do at the time, a prescription fraud conviction can wreck your future.
Being convicted of a first offense for possession of an illegal prescription medication has a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine, plus a suspended driver’s license and a criminal record.
A guilty conviction of acquiring a controlled substance by prescription fraud has a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Keep in mind, being charged with prescription fraud does not necessarily mean you are guilty. You are presumed innocent of all charges unless a judge or jury finds you guilty.
An arrest is not a conviction.
If you or your family member has recently been charged with prescription drug fraud, Ketchel Law is here to help answer your questions about the penalties you face, the court process, and your options for fighting your charges.
We can help you understand the court process and how you can fight to keep your freedom.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
WHAT IS PRESCRIPTION FRAUD?
Prescription fraud can include forging prescriptions or making fake prescriptions, getting multiple prescriptions from several doctors (doctor shopping), impersonating a doctor or medical professional, or altering prescriptions to increase the quantity or number of refills. Medical professionals could also be charged with prescription fraud for prescribing unnecessary medication or wrongfully billing insurance companies.
In the last couple of decades, as pharmaceutical companies come out with new and addicting drugs that may seem harmless, more and more people are finding it difficult to cope without the drugs or are using them for recreation, while not being able to legally obtain them from a doctor. In addition, a person who needs the prescription meds may not be able to afford to go to a medical professional to obtain the prescription legally.
The most common type of prescription fraud involves depressants, stimulants, and medications for ADHD, anxiety, sleeping disorders, and pain relievers.
Medication can include:
- OxyContine (oxycodone);
- Valium (diazepam);
- Ativan (lorazepam);
- Xanax (alprazolam);
- Vicodin (hydrocodone);
- Klonopin (clonazepam);
- Methadone, and;
If you have been charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs, whether you are a medical professional who wrote bad prescriptions, a person in need of or addicted to prescription medication, or someone who was selling or manufacturing prescription meds illegally, our attorneys can help. We offer free consultations to anyone facing charges or who thinks they may be soon charged with a crime.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: YOUR
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD CHARGES DISMISSED.
412-456-1221 – Free Consultations
BEING ARRESTED FOR PRESCRIPTION FRAUD
Prescription fraud falls under Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act.
If you have been charged with simple possession of illegal medications through prescription fraud, it does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted.
Prosecutors must prove that you are guilty of obtaining the prescription medication through misrepresentation, forgery, fraud, deception, or subterfuge. Forging a physician’s name, increasing the number of refills, or stealing prescription pads are common types of prescription fraud.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also be charged with fraud, theft, or forgery.
If you were found with a large amount of drugs, you may be charged with PWID or Possession with Intent to Deliver or Distribute. These are much more serious charges (a felony). These charges may apply if you transferred, sold, or gave prescription drugs to another person. The number of pills and type of drug you are suspected of “delivering” determines which charges you face.
If you are a medical professional and were charged with billing insurance companies or Medicare / Medicaid for false prescriptions, you face felony fraud charges.
If you were charged with prescription fraud while also being cited for DUI of prescription medication, you really should contact an experienced drug attorney as soon as possible. You are facing multiple charges which could lead to considerable time in prison, not to mention large fines and a suspended driver’s license.
The most important task at hand is speaking with an experienced attorney with a successful track record in criminal drug court.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL:
GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.
KETCHEL LAW : 412-456-1221
PENALTIES FOR ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE IN PENNSYLVANIA
The circumstances surrounding your arrest and the types of drugs determine the type of charges you face.
Acquiring Prescription Medication by Fraud Penalties
If you are convicted of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, you face up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Other factors that affect your sentencing include the type and quantity of drugs and prior convictions.
Learn more about prescription fraud charges and penalties.
Simple Possession of Illegal Prescription Medication
In Pennsylvania, there are minimum sentencing laws for simple possession of drugs conviction: up to one year in prison for a first offense and a $5,000 fine, plus other penalties and fines like a six-month driver’s license suspension. A second or third offense could mean up to two or three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Other penalties may apply, for instance, if you are charged with PWID (a felony) or within a school zone.
In addition, any person convicted of charges under the Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act faces having a criminal record for the rest of their lives.
Penalties for simple possession of illegal prescription medication include:
- First Offense: Misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- Subsequent Offense: Misdemeanor, up to three years in jail, and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Other penalties could include driver’s license suspension, being prohibited from owning a firearm, loss of employment, difficulty getting car insurance and/or high insurance premiums, mandatory treatment programs, loss of parental rights and inability to obtain student loans.
Drug Conviction Penalties for Possession With Intent To Deliver
Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID) is a felony and comes with much stricter penalties than simple possession of drugs conviction.
Possession with Intent to Deliver or Distribute charges means the arresting officers suspected you of manufacturing, storing, selling, distributing, trafficking or transporting illegal or controlled substances.
The penalties you face for prescription fraud largely depend on the type of drug involved. In Pennsylvania, there are different schedules for drugs under the Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act. Many prescription meds fall under Schedule IV, like Xanax and Valium.
You can see the entire schedule of drugs here in the PA Code, under their scientific names.
In addition, previous arrests or other criminal charges will have an impact on additional penalties (longer jail time and bigger fines) tacked on to your sentencing if convicted.
You also may face federal charges if you are in possession of large quantities of illegal prescription drugs.
PWID of Schedule III and IV Drugs Penalties
- Schedule III drugs: Up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine;
- Schedule IV drugs: Up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Additional penalties depend on the quantity of drugs in your possession, if weapons were found at the time of arrest, and any prior convictions.
If you were arrested for PWID and the drugs were for your own personal use, our attorneys will work to have your sentencing reduced.
DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS – An arrest is not a conviction.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY
FOR A FREE CONSULTATION: 412-456-1221
ADDITIONAL PENALTIES AND LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF A PRESCRIPTION FRAUD CONVICTION
Additional Penalties for a Prescription Fraud Conviction include:
- Time in Jail or a Lengthy Prison Sentence;
- Substantial Court Costs, Legal Expenses, And Fines;
- Loss or Suspension of Driver’s License;
- Forfeiture of Property And Assets;
- Prohibition from Owning and Carrying a Firearm;
- Loss of Employment;
- Loss of Parental Rights;
- Significantly Higher Insurance Premiums;
- Inability to Obtain Insurance Coverage;
- Loss of Eligibility for College Financial Aid, and;
- Difficulty Finding Employment.
Call Ketchel Law for a free consultation of your case to learn more.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD CHARGES DISMISSED.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
DEFENDING YOUR RIGHTS—An arrest is not a conviction.
A prescription fraud charge does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. You are presumed innocent of all charges unless a judge or jury finds you guilty.
Even so, Pennsylvania and U.S. prosecutors take illegal drug cases very seriously and will do everything they can to get a conviction.
A skilled drug defense attorney will vehemently battle all charges to protect your rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. Call Attorney Justin Ketchel today at 412-456-1221 for a free consultation of your case.
If you are charged with Simple Possession of Drugs in Pennsylvania it is possible to be accepted into a Drug Diversion Program in PA, such as Probation Without Verdict (PWOV) which will result in a full dismissal of your charge(s) and expungement of your criminal record.
In order to find out if you qualify for PWOV, you should contact an experienced drug attorney in Pennsylvania who can help identify key points in your case.
An experienced attorney can help you try to get your charges lessened or dropped altogether, which could mean a drastic reduction in sentencing and punishment.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: HAVING YOUR CASE DISMISSED.
At Ketchel Law, we fully investigate every case to ensure that the rights of our clients have not been violated. We will examine every angle of your case and speak with witnesses to identify any problems with police procedures.
There may be a possibility of proving your innocence—perhaps by demonstrating the drugs were not in your possession or that you were in possession of a much smaller amount of the drug than you were charged with.
A drug charge does not have to mean a drug conviction.
Learn More About Drug Charges in Pennsylvania:
- Prescription Fraud Lawyers
- Simple Possession of Drugs
- First Time Drug Charge in PA
- Fighting Drug Charges
- PWID Drugs
- Drug Sentencing in PA
- Heroin Possession Lawyer
- Pittsburgh Marijuana Lawyer
- Pittsburgh Cocaine Lawyer
- Illegal Steroid Charges
- Ecstasy, Meth & PCP Lawyer
- Drug Paraphernalia Charges
- Drug Diversion Programs in Western Pennsylvania
- Property Forfeiture and Asset Seizure
- Drug Trafficking Charges in PA
- Pittsburgh Drug Attorneys