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Over the past decade, Florida has seen a significant increase in prescription drug abuse, sales, and subsequent fraud charges. At Ohle & Ohle, we understand that the circumstances surrounding every drug case are unique. We have a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys who are able to give your individual case the time and attention that it needs. Your Fort Pierce prescription drug fraud lawyer will work hard to ensure that your rights are protected in and outside of the courtroom. At Ohle & Ohle, we strive to get real results for all of our clients. If you are located anywhere in the Treasure Coast of Florida and have been charged with prescription drug fraud or other similar drug crimes in Fort Pierce, We can help you build a defense strategy that you can depend on.

The implications of a prescription drug fraud charge

Illegal activity involving prescription medications has been on the rise in Florida and across the country. There are many reasons for the increase of these activities in Florida, including doctors who over-prescribe controlled substances, the addictive nature of many medications, and drug trafficking along Florida’s extensive coastline. Not to mention the fact that the Treasure Coast is a vacation and retirement destination for people from all walks of life and all over the United States. On top of this, prescriptions have recently become a politically charged topic in the United States. Drug overdoses from prescriptions have been increasing over the last five years with no end in sight. Due to this perfect storm of circumstances, prescription drug fraud is prosecuted aggressively and convictions come with heavy penalties in Fort Pierce and elsewhere in the .

Multiple law enforcement agencies at both state and federal levels have recently invested additional resources into reigning in the prescription pill trade. Agencies have been known to pursue doctors, patients, drug dealers, pharmaceutical companies, distribution centers, drug traffickers, healthcare companies, hospitals, and even hospital staff members, with aggressive investigation tactics. This can mean anything from sting operations to underhanded political tactics. All of these efforts are aimed at convicting offenders in an attempt to contain instances of prescription drug fraud. So what does this mean for you?

This means that you are more likely than ever to face federal charges for any suspected activity and there’s a good chance that you will face abnormally aggressive prosecutors and complex, sometimes even underhanded, legal tactics. The state wants to see offenders convicted and penalized in large numbers. This is just one of the reasons that hiring an experienced prescription drug fraud defense attorney is so critical to the outcome of your case. Only locally-based, experienced counsel knows the ins and outs of how these criminal defense cases are handled in Fort Pierce, Florida.


Understanding the laws in Florida

Prescription drug fraud is defined as any act in which anyone has illegally managed to obtain or tried to acquire any amount of any controlled substance by use of forgery, misrepresentation, fraud, deception or subterfuge. This means that fraud may be committed in numerous ways, sometimes without the perpetrator even realizing that they have committed a crime. Below are some of the most commonly prosecuted fraud charges in the state of Florida.

    • Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs: This means having any amount of any controlled prescription medication in your possession without a legal prescription from a qualified and recognized medical professional. Example: Having someone else’s pills on your person and being pulled over and searched may get you charged with this crime.
    • Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Prescription Drugs: This means selling or giving out prescription medication illegally. You may also be charged with this crime if you have materials that may be considered suspicious as well as large quantities of prescription medication in your possession.

Example: Having multiple bottles of a prescription painkiller alongside small baggies and a stack of cash.

  • Doctor shopping and prescription drug fraud: This usually involves going to multiple doctors in an attempt to get more or stronger prescription medications. Example: Your doctor doesn’t let you have as many painkillers as you feel you need. You go to another doctor and ask for a larger amount of medication.

The most commonly abused prescription medications in Fort Pierce include:

  • Methadone
  • Amphetamine (Adderall)v
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Ketamine
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Carisoprodol (Soma)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone)

Penalties upon conviction

Prescription Drug Fraud is covered under State Law according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.13. Penalties for convictions of federal cases are severe. They may include but are not limited to:

  • receiving a third-degree felony conviction punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
  • receiving a maximum prison term of fifteen years and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • receiving a 25-year mandatory minimum prison term and $500,000 in fines.

Hiring a qualified drug defense lawyer ASAP is critical

If you have been charged with prescription drug fraud in Fort Pierce or elsewhere in the Treasure Coast, you’re probably wondering how to proceed. Perhaps you are considering using a court-appointed attorney. If you are, it is important to keep in mind that prescription drug fraud convictions carry severe penalties and may be prosecuted intensely. A public defender may not always be able to give your case the time and attention it might demand. At Ohle & Ohle, our Fort Pierce prescription drug fraud attorneys work hard to get each and every client the best possible outcome for their case. When your way of living is on the line, we know that you require results. If you have been accused of prescription drug fraud, hiring an experienced drug fraud defense attorney as soon as possible is likely your best option. At Ohle & Ohle, we are familiar with the complexities that may surround prescription drug fraud cases. Our lawyers will work diligently to ensure that your particular case gets the best possible outcome.

Prescription Drug Fraud FAQs
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Prescription drug fraud occurs when a patient, doctor, pharmacist or other medical professional illegally acquires prescription drugs for personal use or monetary gain.
Penalties for prescription drug fraud in Florida can range from 5 to 25 years in prison and $5,000 to $500,000 in fines per count.
It could be either, depending on the circumstances of your unique case. If drug trafficking charges are levied, chances are the prescription drug fraud charges will come from the feds. If the prescription drug fraud is alleged to have been committed in multiple states, federal charges are likely.
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