What to Consider When Defending Yourself from Prescription Drug Fraud

By Brock Benjamin
Founding Attorney

According to a study conducted by Georgetown University, more than 66% of adults in the United States use prescription drugs regularly. While using legally obtained prescription drugs for a legitimate purpose is legal, prescription medication obtained through fraud can lead to harsh consequences, including a felony charge, hefty fines, and even jail time.

If you or a loved one are facing prescription fraud charges in Texas, turn to the Benjamin Law Firm as soon as you can. With an entire practice dedicated to fraud defense, our team can help you protect your freedom and your future. A felony charge can have a lifelong impact, so it’s imperative that you secure zealous representation as early as possible, to mitigate the damage and fight for the best possible outcome.

Here’s what you need to consider when facing a prescription drug fraud charge:

  1. The Types of Prescription Drug Fraud

Prescription drug fraud covers a wide range of fraudulent activities in an attempt to obtain a prescription medication. examples include:

  • Doctor shopping, or visiting multiple doctors in an effort to find one who will prescribe a certain drug
  • Visiting multiple providers for the same prescription
  • Forging a prescription
  • Altering a prescription
  • Stealing a prescription pad
  • Diverting legitimate prescription drugs to those who weren’t prescribed the medication (by gift or by sale)
  • Bribing a medical professional to provide a prescription
  • A medical professional providing illegal prescriptions for financial gain
  • Obtaining prescription drugs illegally, through purchase or through the internet
  • Impersonating a medical professional

The drugs that are most often sought out or obtained through prescription drug fraud include:

  • Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, and Versed)
  • Stimulants (such as Adderal, Vyvanse, Concerta, and Ritalin)
  • Painkillers (such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Codeine, Morphine, and Fentanyl)
  1. The Implications of a Prescription Drug Fraud Charge

A prescription drug fraud charge can have a lifelong impact on the accused. Because prescription drug fraud can lead to addiction, abuse, and even overdose, prosecutors do not show much mercy to those facing prescription drug fraud charges as a matter of policy. This is especially true regarding opioids, as the opioid epidemic in the United States lead to over 15,000 deaths in 2021. 

Not only do prescription drug charges carry harsh penalties, but they can also lead to other charges including drug possession charges, drug distribution charges, drug trafficking charges, and more. 

The penalties for prescription drug fraud in Texas vary depending on the severity of the drug, which are classified as different schedules. 

Schedule I drugs are very rarely, if ever, prescribed for a legitimate use and have a high risk of abuse. They include drugs such as crack cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, and PCP.

Schedule II drugs also carry a high abuse risk, but do have legitimate medical uses. They include narcotics, painkillers, and stimulants.

Schedule III drugs include a moderate to low risk of abuse. These include low-dose codeine-based painkillers, ketamine, steroids, and testosterone.

Schedule IV drugs have a low risk of abuse, and mainly include benzodiazepines.

Most other drugs fall into schedule V, with a very low risk of abuse.

Drug Schedule:Classification:Penalty:
Schedule I or IISecond-Degree FelonyTwo to 20 years in prison, fine of up to $10,000
Schedule III or IVThird-Degree FelonyTwo to ten years in prison, fine of up to $10,000
Schedule VClass A MisdemeanorUp to one year in jail, fine of up to $4,000

Additionally, forging or falsifying a prescription is considered a class B misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 180 days of jail time and a fine of up to $2,000.

Prescription fraud charges often lead to the loss of the offender’s professional license and employment. When the conviction is classified as a felony, the offender will likely experience difficulty securing housing and employment for the rest of their life. They will also lose their right to vote, possess a firearm, and sit on a jury. A felony conviction can also have disastrous consequences on any pending immigration cases.

  1. Contact the Right Professional for the Job: A Leading Texas Prescription Drug Fraud Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing prescription drug fraud charges in Texas, it’s important that you seek guidance from an experienced Texas fraud defense attorney as quickly as you can. Prescription drug fraud charges can lead to harsh consequences that could follow you for a lifetime, including loss of licensure, heavy fines, and even incarceration. You need a skilled attorney with experience defending against prescription drug fraud who will fight tirelessly for you, your future, and your freedom. 

El Paso’s Benjamin Law Firm offers comprehensive criminal defense services to clients across Texas, with an entire practice area dedicated to fraud defense, backed by decades of experience and proven results. Name partner Brock Morgan Benjamin is one of few Texas attorneys who truly specializes in criminal defense, as he is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. 

Contact us or call us at (915)-221-7462 today so we can get started fighting for you. También hablamos español.

About the Author
Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice is primarily state and federal criminal law and appeals.Brock 

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense