Florida Statute, Section 893.13(7)(a)9
Under Florida Statute, Section 893.13(7)(a)9, it is unlawful to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. This offense is more commonly known as “doctor shopping,” and entails a single person going from doctor to doctor, complaining of severe pain or other illnesses, and obtaining a prescription for narcotic drugs, psychotropic prescription medication, or steroids from many different doctors.
The person may be obtaining the prescription drugs for personal use, or to sell to others. However, either way, it is a crime under Florida law. Imagine that you went from doctor to doctor, receiving multiple oxycodone pills for your aching back, and you never told any of the doctors you had received prescriptions for the same drug. You then sold the oxycodone on the street. This is the most common type of conduct that the police are trying to prevent.
If you are charged with Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud, you will be facing a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of the crime, you could spend up to five years in prison, be sentenced to five years of probation, and face a maximum fine of $5,000. In the past, the state of Florida would charge each transaction as a separate crime, subjecting the person charged to multiple consecutive sentences. However, this is no longer the case.
What Must Be Proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:
The state prosecutor must show the following in order to convict you of the offense of Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud:
- You acquired or attempted to acquire a specific substance;
- The substance you acquired was a controlled substance under Florida Statutes; and
- You acquired or attempted to acquire the controlled substance through deception, subterfuge, forgery or fraud.
Defenses to Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud
Your defense to the crime of Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud will be determined by your Florida criminal defense attorney, however your attorney may use one of the following defenses on your behalf:
- You were not actually in either actual or constructive possession of the prescription drugs at any time;
- You were unaware 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;
- You fall under one of the “exceptions,” meaning you are a pharmacist, a medical doctor, a dentist, an optometrist, a researcher, a hospital practitioner, an officer or employee of a state, federal or local government, acting in a professional capacity, an informant, acting under the jurisdiction of law enforcement, a common carrier, a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor, or you were a law enforcement operation using the drugs for a bona fide law enforcement purpose;
- You did not have sufficient drugs in your possession to show you obtained multiple prescriptions through fraud; or
- You had a legitimate prescription for each drug in your possession (i.e., even though the prescriptions may have been from different doctors, your doctors were aware you were taking the other prescriptions).
How a Criminal Defense Attorney from The Law Place Can Help
If you have been charged with Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced attorney from The Law Place. Our crimianl lawyers have extensive experience helping Florida residents charged with drug offenses. The sooner you have us on your case, the more likely you are to have the most positive outcome to your charges. Call The Law Place today at 941-444-4444 for a FREE consultation.