There has been a significant increase in drug crimes in Florida, and this has not gone unnoticed by the state. Generally, it is common practice today that state prosecutors will charge those who are suspected of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. This practice is also known as “doctor shopping.” In most cases of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, they deal primarily with those who seek psychotropic prescription medication, pain relievers, or steroids but have exhausted their capacity to receive such medication from their personal physician.
Furthermore, these people may no longer be able to seek treatment from other doctors, which usually results in them feigning symptoms in order to access additional prescriptions, leading to drug abuse. In order for a person to be found guilty of this crime, the state prosecutors have to be able to prove that the controlled substance was obtained through means of misrepresentation, deception, fraud, forgery, or subterfuge.
In Tampa, if you are found guilty of these charges, it is a third-degree felony that could result in five years in prison or more, depending on the amount you were found to be obtaining. It is also worth noting that in past situations regarding obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, the state has charged each transaction as a separate crime. This means that if you or a loved one are facing these charges, you could receive multiple, consecutive sentences. This is a charge that no-one wants to find on the receiving end of.
We recognize that if you do find yourself in this position, trying to figure out your next step can seem incredibly daunting. At The Law Place, we have years of experience dealing with drug cases that are similar to yours. What makes us unique as a law firm is that every lawyer reviews each individual case together. This means that you have a collaborative team behind you, who are all working towards the same goal – building the best possible defense for your case.
Once your case has been reviewed, you will be assigned a criminal defense attorney. Your Tampa criminal defense attorney will work closely with you, acting as your advocate, offering you support and guidance to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. We realize the importance of an attorney-client relationship built on trust in order to put your mind at ease in what is already a stressful time. As a firm, we have over 75 years of extensive knowledge and experience in drug laws in Tampa and the State of Florida. Rest assured, you are in reliable hands.
Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, meaning no time is a bad time to get in touch. We are available at the time that is most convenient for you. A member of our team is waiting to help you with your free consultation, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our number is (941) 444-4444. Please call us today!
What Must Be Proven
If you are charged in Tampa for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, the state prosecutor must be able to prove the following to convict you:
- You acquired or attempted to obtain a specific substance.
- The substance you obtained was a controlled substance defined under Florida Statute 893.13.
- You acquired or attempted to obtain the controlled substance through deception, fraud, forgery, or subterfuge.
We at The Law Place understand that these charges have severe consequences. We will strive to provide the best defense case possible to ensure that your charges and their consequences are either reduced or dropped where possible.
Possible Defenses to Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud Charges
Your defense to the crime of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud will be decided by your Tampa criminal defense attorney based on the specifics of your case. However, your lawyer might use one of the following defenses listed below to help your case:
- You were not in either actual or constructive possession of the prescription drugs at any given time.
- You were not aware of the illicit nature of the controlled substance.
- The evidence against you was obtained unlawfully.
- The evidence against you was obtained via an unlawful search and seizure from law enforcement.
- You fall under an “exception.” E.G., you are a pharmacist, dentist, medical doctor, optometrist, researcher, hospital practitioner, officer, employee of state, federal, or local government, informant, acting under the jurisdiction of law enforcement, common carrier, manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor, or you were a member of law enforcement using the drugs for a specific purpose.
- There was not enough of the drugs in your possession to prove you obtained multiple prescriptions through fraud.
- There is a prescription available as evidence for each drug in your possession. Meaning, even if the prescriptions were distributed by different doctors, those doctors were aware that you were taking other prescriptions.
A defense attorney, through their investigation, will try to identify whether or not their defendant had their basic lawful rights, such as those stated of the Fourth Amendment, violated. Equally, your defense attorney will need to establish whether or not the arresting officers involved in your case acted in accordance with each aspect of the Constitution. If they determine any sort of violation of your rights, all evidence in surrounding your case may be suppressed and, therefore, cannot be used in the courtroom. If this is the case, it is highly unlikely that you would receive a conviction or prison sentence.
Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer Before Hiring Them
To achieve the best possible outcome for you, your defense lawyer needs to know every detail surrounding your case and your arrest. Being honest with them will strengthen your attorney-client relationship, which is crucial in perfecting your defense strategy. When choosing your representation, these are important questions to consider:
- Do you have experience handling cases like mine?
- What are your fees, and can I work out a payment plan with you?
- How many cases that are like mine have you won?
- How many jury trials have you litigated?
- What is your history in sorting out plea bargains?
- Are you able to provide me with references from your previous clients?
The last point is something you especially need to consider. Any successful defense attorney should be able to provide previous references with ease. If they are unable to do this, it doesn’t look promising, and if anything, it should prompt you to take your case elsewhere. You deserve to have representation that you can trust and will be able to help you successfully.
Contact The Law Place Today
The procedure for convictions of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in Tampa is quite complex. The Law Place can promise both skill and compassion. If you are being charged for obtaining controlled substances by fraud – we will not judge you. Instead, a member of our team will work through your evidence, investigate your arrest, and tailor the best defense possible to guarantee the best outcome for you.
Our attorneys have 75 years of collective experience. They consistently work as a team and work tirelessly to remain educated on current Tampa laws, courtroom tactics, and strategies. As a firm, we have battled cases in every Florida county, as well as working on exterior federal court cases. Our attorneys boast an AVVO 10.0 rating, which is the highest possible rating that can be achieved. This rating is based on trial skills, awards, length of practice, associations, and other client reviews.
We can offer you a toll-free, no-obligation consultation by telephone today. Each of our consultations will remain entirely confidential and protected by attorney-client privileges even before you commit to us as your representation. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your benefit.
Call (941) 444-4444 today for more information or free legal advice!