Prescription fraud is a generic term used to describe obtaining controlled substances or actual medication from a pharmacy by using fraud, forgery, deception, or theft. It is not necessary to actually obtain the medicine from the pharmacy in order to convict you of attempt. In any case, both prescription fraud and attempt to commit prescription fraud are felony offenses. It is important to hire any attorney early in the process so that you are put in the best possible position.
It is illegal under Tennessee law to alter the prescription written by the Doctor. It is common for someone accused of prescription fraud in Tennessee to increase or alter the type of medication given. Anytime a prescription is altered, it is fraud regardless of the intent or reason. Likewise, it is illegal to alter the label on the medicine bottle or steal a prescription pad from a medical provider. Phoning in a fake prescription to a pharmacy is also prescription fraud. The key element Tennessee courts consider in prescription fraud cases is fraud. If the accused is a drug addict, that factor is not a complete defense but it can be used a mitigating factor during sentencing.
Due to the increase in pain management clinics, Doctor shopping was become a major source of prescription fraud. It is illegal to visit another Physician in an attempt to get more drugs. This method is illegal and subjects are usually caught through pharmacy computer systems. I have also seen instances of prescription fraud by the use of internet Doctors.
Case in note for Tennessee Prescription Fraud Case
Felony Prescription Fraud Conviction Avoided. Officers were called to a local pharmacy in Nashville, Tennessee concerning a possible prescription fraud. When the officers arrived at the scene, a pharmacy employee was at the entrance to meet the officers. The employee informed the officers that the night before they received a phoned in prescription. A pharmacy employee tried to verify the prescription through a local Nashville physician and it was discovered to be a forgery. The pharmacy employee advised officers that my client was attempting to pick up the prescription. When my client exited the store, officers questioned my client and she said that she was picking up a prescription for a friend. The prescription was sitting in plain view in the top of her purse. Officers contacted the person on whose name the prescription was being filed and they denied any knowledge of the incident. In addition, the physician verified that his name had been forged. After numerous discussions with the DA's office, a plea agreement was reached to an amended charge of simple possession, which is a misdemeanor. After serving one year on probation, my client's record was expunged and she avoided a felony drug conviction. Of note, my client was a registered nurse who needed to avoid a prescription fraud conviction at all costs. Her professional career was on the line. Case number 08-120.
Prescription fraud is a sensitive area of law in Tennessee and it requires a unique defense approach. Tennessee courts have taken a harsh stance on this issue and they are serious when it comes to prosecuting prescription fraud cases in Tennessee. If you need help with a prescription fraud case, give Lee Martin a call at 615-345-1988.
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-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in criminal defense cases. If you are seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending prescription fraud charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
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