Drug crimes are among the most common reasons for arrests in South Florida. Drug-related arrests are prevalent in Palm Beach County, where the opioid crisis has reached new heights. If you are arrested and charged with drug crimes, you need to know what you may be facing. Here is what you need to know about prescription drug fraud charges in Palm Beach County, courtesy of Piotrowski Law.
Prescription Drug Fraud Laws in Palm Beach County
Florida Statute 893.13 defines prescription drug laws as illegally obtaining, or attempting to obtain controlled, or prescribed, substances through misrepresentation, or nefarious acts. This law includes the “doctor shopping” statute, 893.13(7)(a)8, which states that:
“Withholding information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance of a prescription for a controlled substance that the person making the request has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of that practitioner, a pharmacist, or a supplier of prescription forms who is authorized by that practitioner to possess those forms.”
Doctor shopping is one of the most common forms of prescription fraud in all of South Florida.
Doctor shopping is essentially the practice of receiving multiple prescriptions for the same drug from a different doctor. This fraud is a direct contributor to the opioid crisis, as those who commit the act may stockpile the drugs for personal use to feed an addiction or sell them to other addicts for profit.
Florida law makes it illegal to conceal or lie about recent prescriptions when trying to get another one from a medical practitioner. To combat the drug epidemic, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was developed, meaning doctors now cross-reference patient information in a database. This prescription database informs doctors, pharmacists, and law enforcement officials when someone receives a prescription for a similar substance, or the same drug, within an unauthorized period.
Other Forms of Prescription Drug Fraud
That’s not to say that doctor shopping is the only form of prescription drug fraud prevalent in Palm Beach County. Other common types of prescription fraud include:
- Forging prescriptions.
- Stealing a doctor’s blank prescription pads.
- The altering or changing of prescriptions to increase the amount of medicine prescribed.
Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud
According to Statute 893.13(7)(d), prescription drug fraud, including doctor shopping, is a third-degree felony. Under Florida law, anyone convicted may find themselves facing five years in state prison, as well as fines of up to $5,000. For the theft of a doctor’s prescription pad, an individual will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and, if convicted, could face up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
Arrested on Drug Fraud Charges? Call Piotrowski Law Today
If the police arrest you in Palm Beach County on prescription drug fraud charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who is willing to fight for you.
Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.