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PITTSBURGH PRESCRIPTION FRAUD LAWYER

Prescription Fraud Charges in Pennsylvania

INFORMATION ON BEING CHARGED WITH PRESCRIPTION FRAUD IN PA

Prescription fraud is on the rise in Pennsylvania as more and more people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs or using them recreationally. 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 is more severe than if the charges were for 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.

Being convicted 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, Justin Ketchel Law is here to help answer your questions about the penalties you face.

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 JUSTIN 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 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. This can include OxyContine (oxycodone), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepram), Darvocet, Ambien, Xanax (alprazolam), Vicodin (hydrocodone), Adderall, and Klonopin (clonazepam), Demoral, Ritalin, Methadone and Percocet.

If you have been charged with illegal possession of prescription fraud, 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, you face severe consequences if convicted.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL JUSTIN KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

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 quantity 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 a considerable time in prison, not to mention large fines and a suspended driver’s license.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: 
GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL JUSTIN KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

PENALTIES FOR PRESCRIPTION FRAUD 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 drug and prior convictions.

Simple Possession of Illegal Prescription Medication

In Pennsylvania, there are minimum sentencing laws for a 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 $5000.
  • 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 a 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.

strong drug attorney with experience will fight to get your PWID charges reduced to a Simple Possession charge or a Not Guilty verdict.

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 JUSTIN 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
  • Forfeitureof Property And Assets
  • Prohibitionfrom Owning and Carrying a Firearm
  • Loss of Employment
  • Loss of Parental Rights
  • Significantly HigherInsurance Premiums
  • Inability toObtain Insurance Coverage
  • Loss of Eligibility for College Financial Aid
  • Difficulty Finding Employment

Call Justin J. Ketchel for a free consultation of your case to learn more.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL JUSTIN 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 Justin 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.

There could be evidence that your Constitutional Rights were violated during the time of arrest. If police cannot prove probable cause and reasonable suspicion, evidence could be suppressed and your case will be dismissed.

Our number one goal is to have your case dismissed and charges withdrawn. If that is not possible, there are numerous ways of attempting a reduction in sentencing such as probation vs. jail.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: HAVING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.

Talk to an experienced attorney for a free consultation about whether you may be eligible to have your record expunged and how best to fight your charges.

A drug charge does not have to mean a drug conviction.

Learn More About Drug Charges in Pennsylvania: