How often do we open up the morning paper to see stories of musicians, actors, or other celebrities who have checked into rehab to recover from a prescription drug addiction? This problem affects not just the rich and famous, but also the soccer mom next door and the small business owner down the street. Many common medications can create strong addictions. If you are the subject of a police investigation or an arrest for prescription fraud, contact a West Virginia prescription fraud lawyer immediately.
Prescription fraud often arises after treatment for an injury or illness. After the pain has passed, the dependence for the drug remains. Often, the symptoms of dependence are not immediately recognized for what they really are. Patients continue to see the doctor for more refills, feeding their often unrealized habit. When the doctors cut off the source, problems and temptation arise, not necessarily because of criminal intent, but because of dependence. Some people will engage in the unlawful act of “doctor shopping,” or trying to find any physician who will issue them another prescription.
Studies show that women are more likely to commit prescription fraud because more women are prescribed addictive drugs than men. Adding to this problem is that many of these women work in the healthcare industry and have access to writing and filling prescriptions themselves. Temptation and opportunity collide, resulting in criminal activity.
It is violation of law for anyone other than a prescribing physician or other authorized health care professional to alter a prescription. A patient cannot increase the amount of medication, the frequency of refills, or change the type of medication originally prescribed. People are frequently caught phoning in fake prescriptions and impersonating medical personnel. Label alteration and forgery is another common type of fraud. People go to see doctors for the sole purpose of trying to steal prescription pads. And in some extreme cases, physicians themselves, or their employees, will provide fraudulent prescriptions or even give away prescription pads for personal gain such as money, sex, or other things of value to them.
Sentencing penalties in prescription fraud cases, like most drug charges, can be extremely serious, resulting in years in prison and large monetary fines. These charges cannot be taken lightly and require the assistance of a lawyer familiar with defending such cases. Defenses are available, and an experienced lawyer is best positioned to help find and use those defenses.
When facing a prescription fraud charge in West Virginia, contact the experienced attorneys of La Neve Law Offices immediately for help – Call Your Lawyer!