Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the greater Franklin County area. Law enforcement and medical professionals are on high alert for those obtaining drugs through deceptive means. Even if the drug abuse originally stems from a legitimate prescription, it can still be considered an illegal offense.
Ohio laws are not kind to those who committed prescription fraud. A person convicted of prescription fraud may face hefty fines, driver license suspension, and even possible incarceration. It is important that you protect yourself legally.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for prescription fraud, it is well within your right to obtain legal representation.
Find a Columbus Attorney for Deception to Obtain Drugs
Prescription fraud is so high, Ohio has instituted prescription monitoring programs to analyze and collect information concerning drug prescriptions. Those convicted for deception to obtain drugs face heavy penalties. Any person who is charged with prescription fraud, it is recommended they contact a defense attorney.
Joslyn Law Firm has been practicing law for a collected twenty years in the greater Columbus area. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm want to be your partner in this legal process. We understand that situations can get out of control, and want to do all we can to protect your rights. Our attorneys will devote ourselves to getting you the best possible legal representation to fight your charges. We have been recognized for our legal excellence in the professional community. Brian Joslyn, Joslyn Law Firm founder, has been ranked as one of the 10 best criminal defense lawyers in Ohio by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Joslyn Law Firm represent clients charged with prescription fraud throughout the greater Franklin County area and adjoining communities including Circleville, Columbus, Newark, Lancaster, London, Grove City, and Dublin.
Call (614) 444-1900 or submit an online contact form today.
Overview for Prescription Fraud in Columbus, Ohio
Common Types of Prescription Drugs
A deception to obtain drugs charge is different than common substance abuse charges. A prescription fraud charge is related to abuse of medically given drugs. In some cases, prescription fraud comes from forgery. In others, a person may make a false statement to obtain a prescription.
The following are some common prescription drugs that can be obtained illegally.
Types and Penalties for Prescription Fraud in Columbus, Ohio
The penalties surrounding prescription fraud in Ohio are dependent on the situation. The level of the offense and potential sentence is reliant on the category of the drug, and the amount of the drug.
If the fraud included a Schedule III – V drug, the offense ranges from a fifth degree felony to a second degree felony. On the other hand, if the fraud includes a drug in Schedule I or Schedule II the offense can be from a fourth degree felony to a first degree felony. Alongside this, all convictions for prescription fraud may result in suspension of the offender’s driver license for up to five years.
Illegal Processing of Medical Prescription Documents
Under Ohio laws, a person is committing an illegal offense if they do any of the following:
- Make a false statement in a prescription;
- Manufacture, sell or possess a fake or forged prescription;
- Acquire a prescription by theft;
- Make or affix a false or forged label to a receptacle containing a dangerous drug.
Penalties for illegal processing of medical drugs are dependent on the category and amount of the drug. If convicted, the offense can range from a fifth degree felony to a fourth degree felony. Fifth degree felonies can result in up to one year in prison, while a fourth degree felony can result in up to 18 months in prison. In addition to this, all illegal processing of drug documents carry a mandatory license suspension up to five years.
Illegal Dispensing of Drug Samples
No person shall intentionally make, utter, possess, or sell any of the following forged or false documents:
- Uncompleted preprinted prescription blank used for writing a prescription;
- Official written order
- License for a terminal distributor of dangerous drugs; or
- License for wholesale distributor of dangerous drugs.
Ohio law prohibits distributing another person with a sample drug, unless by a medical professional. If the drug is involved in the offense is a mixture, compound, preparation or substance included in Schedule I or II, the penalty will be a felony to the fifth degree. A fifth degree felony can result in up to 12 months in prison.
The offense is also reliant on where and who it was dispensed to. If the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile, it will be considered a felony to the fourth degree. A fourth degree felony may possibly result in up to 18 months in prison.
If the drug involved in the offense is a dangerous drug or compound, preparation, mixture or substance in Schedule III to V, the penalty will be a second-degree misdemeanor. However, if the offense was committed near a school or juvenile, the offense will be a first degree misdemeanor.
Prescription Drug Forgery Laws
Ohio laws state that it is illegal for any person to do any of the following with the purpose of obtaining medical drugs.
- Forge any writing of another person without that person’s authority;
- Forge any writing to be genuine when it is actually spurious; and
- Utter, or possess with purpose to utter, any writing the person knows to have been forged.
Forgery is normally a fifth degree felony. A person convicted of a fifth degree felony may face a possible prison sentence up to one year. Alongside this, the alleged offender’s drivers license may be suspended or revoked if deemed appropriate.
The Stop Trafficking of Pills Act (STOP)
In 2017, Ohio introduced the Stop Trafficking of Pills Act (STOP). The Act’s goal is to decrease prescription drug trafficking throughout Ohio. STOP plans to attack prescription fraud by limiting patients on how they obtain medical prescriptions. All Medicaid recipients will only be allowed to see a single doctor if he or she must take prescription drugs with a high risk of abuse to avoid Medicaid fraud.
The STOP Act restricts a patient to one physician to obtain a prescription drug. In addition, the patient is to use one exclusive pharmacy to receive their prescription. The pharmacy also limits the amount of times a patient may obtain a high-risk prescription drug. A person can only refill their prescription every 20 days.
Illegal Processing of Drug Documents – Visit the official website for Ohio laws and rules. View the statues surrounding forgery and illegal processing of drug documents and the specifics for each charge. See the different kinds of documents that can be filed illegally, the penalties for each charge, and the related statutes for prescription fraud.
Representative Tim Ryan Introduces Bill – Visit the official website for Tim Ryan, Ohio’s Representative for the 13th District. Read his press release regarding the Stop Trafficking of Pills Act (STOP) on March 3, 2017. See the purpose for the bill, some statistics for prescription abuse in Ohio, and the written transcript of Tim Ryan’s words at the press release.
Columbus Lawyer for Deception to Obtain Drugs in Ohio
Due to the STOP Act and rising statistics, health care professionals and law enforcement are very aware of prescription fraud in Ohio. It is important that you protect yourself and your rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with prescription fraud, it is in your best interest to contact Joslyn Law Firm.
The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have over 20 years of combined experience in Ohio’s criminal law system. Our attorneys are well-versed in prescription fraud drugs and want to steer you through these choppy legal waters. We approach each case with new eyes, but have extensive experience to analyze your case from every angle. Joslyn Law Firm has been admitted to several respected law associations such as the Central Association for Justice and the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients throughout the Central Ohio area and nearby counties including Lancaster in Fairfield County, Washington Court House in Fayette County, Newark in Licking County, Circleville in Pickaway County, Delaware in Delaware County, London in Madison County, and Columbus in Franklin County.
Be proactive and take the first step in your defense. Call (614) 444-1900 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation today.
This article was last updated on July 30th, 2018.