Abuse and death caused by prescription drugs have become a national epidemic over the past decade. Those who are addicted may attempt to obtain a prescription through fraudulent means, while doctors may prescribe large amounts of controlled substances without a legitimate reason and to earn additional income.
These types of actions are criminal offenses which fall under the umbrella of prescription drug fraud. This drug crime is defined as an unlawful acquisition of prescribed medication for personal use or profit.
One of the most common forms of prescription drug fraud is “doctor shopping.” Doctors can only prescribe a certain amount of medication to each patient. However, some patients may visit different doctors in order to obtain many of the same prescriptions without advising each doctor about the other prescriptions, which is considered doctor shopping.
The following are the other common forms of prescription drug fraud:
- Forging prescriptions using a stolen doctor’s pad
- Altering the amount of medication on a physician’s prescription
- Create fake prescriptions with the use of computer programs
- Misrepresenting personal information to obtain a prescription
- Impersonating a health care provider to obtain a prescription
- If you are a health care provider, issuing a prescription for an illegitimate reason or outside the normal course of a physician’s practice
- Selling prescription medication for a profit
In Wisconsin, prescription fraud is considered a Class H felony, which carries a maximum six-year prison sentence and a fine no more than $10,000. A conviction of any drug offense also results in the suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months or a maximum of five years.
Additionally, if you are found in possession of controlled substances which were illegally obtained through prescription fraud, you could be facing separate drug crimes, which are associated with serious penalties as well. If you’ve had prior convictions for drug offenses, the penalties are much worse.
If you have been charged with prescription drug fraud in Wisconsin, our Milwaukee criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella is committed to helping you get favorable results in your case. Contact us and schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.