One of the primary ways that drug addicts obtains prescription drugs for non-medical use is by “doctor shopping”. Legally, doctor shopping has serious consequences; more often, it is prosecuted as felony and punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Below are information about doctor shopping or prescription fraud and what you can do in the event that you are charged.
Prescription Fraud and Doctor Shopping
The legal definition of “doctor shopping” is using more than one provider and pharmacy to get prescription of controlled substances, without the pharmacies and providers knowing about the other prescriptions.
Doctor shopping involves any of the following of the controlled substances, including:
- Opiates (morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc)
- Stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall, etc)
- Depressants (Valium, Xanax, Ambient)
The law prohibits a patient:
- From obtaining a prescription from a new practitioner
- While being treated and supplied with a prescription from another practitioner without disclosing this to the new practitioner
People commit doctor shopping for their own personal use, or to sell, or to distribute to others. While most offenders steal drugs while working, other steal prescriptions pads or write illegal prescriptions for friends.
Possible Oversight Defense
Doctor shopping requires that a person knowingly obtains prescriptions from different doctors without telling them about each other. It is possible for defense that patients are forgetful and simply went to more than one doctor but forgot to tell the other doctors about the other medicines and practitioners.
Patients cannot shop around for doctors to prescribe drugs; doctors cannot dispense drugs irresponsibly to their patients. The state of Nevada does not want doctors to act like drug dealers and “divert” controlled substances for illegitimate uses.
The doctors may only prescribe:
- A controlled substance
- For medical purposes
- In the usual course of their professional practice
Prescription fraud law is not designed to stop doctors from writing legitimate prescriptions. A doctor can still issue prescriptions for medical treatment for a legitimate medical purpose.
Possible Entrapment Defense
Narcotics cases involve covert operations most of the time, where the undercover officers pretend they are patients to “get” prescriptions from the doctor. There are chances that the law enforcers have violated the Entrapment Law. And if your criminal defense lawyer can show that the illegal conduct was actually planted in the doctor’s mind.
A person who violates doctor shopping in Las Vegas is sentenced with Category C Felony with 1 to 5 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000. If the defendant is a drug addict, they might have eligibility for a deferred sentence and substance abuse treatment.
Defense Lawyer for Prescription Fraud
If you have been accused of doctor shopping or prescription fraud, a Las Vegas drug crime lawyer can help with your narcotics charges. Call now and schedule a free case consultation. Know the possible defenses that can help you with your case.