Grand Junction Prescription Fraud Defense Lawyers
A fraud charge can cause your life to completely crumble. Friends and family are unlikely to trust you. Your employer may see fit to fire you. The reputation you worked your entire life to build could come crashing down around you. While not much can be done to keep word from spreading about your arrest, a skilled lawyer can certainly help you get the best possible outcome during your trial.
At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our trial attorneys work diligently with our clients to provide them with the best possible legal defense. While the prosecution may be determined to see you behind bars, we will fight them tooth and nail on your behalf. There aren’t many other firms in Grand Junction with our level of passion, dedication, or expertise. For a strong legal defense from experienced Grand Junction prescription fraud defense lawyers, call our firm at (970) 243-4357. We are ready to help.
Drugs that require prescriptions are often heavily controlled by the government. Medication like morphine, OxyContin, and Adderall can only be possessed legally with a prescription from a medical professional. In fact, drugs that are considered controlled substances, meaning they are placed on one of the five drug schedules, can only be legally obtained through a prescription.
That is why prescription fraud, which is the act of using fraud in order to illegally obtain a prescription or medication, is a serious drug crime in Colorado. Because narcotics are so tightly controlled, using fraud to obtain them is taken very seriously. While there are many forms of prescription fraud, all are punished harshly. Some ways that people try to use fraud to get prescription medication include:
Doctor shopping: This term refers to when you go from doctor to doctor, giving the same symptoms, in order to receive multiple prescriptions, despite only needing one.
Stealing a prescription pad: While most prescriptions are digital these days, being sent directly to your pharmacy, prescription pads do still exist. They are special pieces of paper printed for doctors that can be filled out and given to a pharmacist in order to get a certain medication. These can be stolen and used to get illegal prescriptions.
Lying to your doctor: When a doctor writes a prescription, they often base your medication on your symptoms. Tests can be run, but those can take time and be expensive. Doctors may, instead, use their own judgment in order to determine what medication you need. However, if the doctor has been lied to, the prescription may not be legal.
Altering or copying a valid prescription: If you have a physical prescription, rather than a digital one, you may be tempted to alter it in order to get a larger prescription or attempt to copy the prescription onto another piece of paper in order to get more medication. Both actions are highly illegal and considered fraud.
Given that prescription fraud is often used in order to get ahold of controlled substances, it is considered a very serious crime. The courts are likely to punish you harshly, especially if you have been convicted of drug crimes in the past. On top of that, you could be charged with drug possession on top of your fraud charges, which would make your sentencing far harsher. However, if you are only charged with prescription fraud, then you can expect to face a level IV drug felony. For that, you may be punished with:
- Between six months and a year in jail
- Between $1,000 and $100,000 in fines
However, your sentence could be altered and made harsher if you committed the crime under “aggravating factors.” These factors can include being on parole at the time of the alleged crime or being on probation for another felony. A charge of aggravated prescription fraud can lead to:
- Between one and two years in prison
- A fine of up to $100,000
Prescription fraud is considered a wobbler in Colorado, meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony charge will likely result in harsher punishments, as well as a loss of rights, whereas a misdemeanor charge can be obtained if you complete a drug treatment program and any other court mandates and conditions. That being said, the courts won’t give such an opportunity to just anyone who asks for it. You will need an excellent defense to have your charges lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor, or to have them dropped altogether.
Finding the best defense for your trial is no easy task. An investigation will need to be launched in order to uncover every shred of evidence that could be used in your favor. However, when it comes to cases of fraud, especially prescription fraud, there are a few key defenses that your attorney may be able to implement on your behalf.
- The prescription was actually legal and valid
- You did not lie in order to get the prescription
- You were seeking a second option, not doctor shopping
- The label on the medicine or the prescription was not changed or altered in any way
- There was an error with your doctor’s office or your pharmacy
- The officers who arrested you practiced misconduct, either during the investigation or the arrest
It can be incredibly easy to choose the wrong attorney for your case. While you do have the right to a public defender, they are often severely overworked. This means that they may simply not have the time to properly look over your case and determine what the best defense could be. That is why you should go with one of the top criminal defense firms in Grand Junction.
Our team at Peters & Nolan, LLC handles each case with consideration, dedication, and expertise. When we work with our clients on the Western Slope, we give them far more than a basic look over. We delve into the facts around your charges, searching for any cracks in the prosecution’s arguments, so that we can get you the best possible outcome. If you want to work with skilled and knowledgeable Grand Junction criminal defense lawyers, call our firm at (970) 243-4357 today.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.