Prescription Drug Charge Lawyers

Prescription drugs are not legal for everyone. If you are not prescribed a medication by a doctor, you can go to jail, pay fines, and be convicted of various crimes associated prescription medication.

Both Kansas and Missouri have laws related to the unlawful use of prescription drugs. Furthermore, the states have implemented laws regarding the regulation of prescribed medication and exactly who is allowed to prescribe these substances.

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Kansas Prescription Drug Laws

According to Kansas law, the unlawful possession and distribution of a prescription drug includes:

  • Creating, altering, or signing of a prescription order by an individual other than a doctor or mid-level practitioner.
  • Distributing a prescribed order, knowing it to have been created, altered, or signed by a person other than a doctor or mid-level practitioner.
  • Possessing a prescribed drug with the knowledge that it has been obtained pursuant to a prescription order made, altered, or signed by an individual other than a doctor or mid-level practitioner.
  • Providing false information to a doctor or mid-level practitioner in order to obtain a prescribed medication.

If you are found guilty of violating prescription drug laws in Kansas, it is considered a Class A nonperson misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $2,500. However, depending on the severity of the drug and the defendant’s prior criminal record, the charge may be increased to a felony.

Missouri Prescription Drug Laws

In Missouri, a pharmacist may sell and dispense prescribed medication to any individual who has a prescription from an authorized practitioner within the state. Additionally, all written prescriptions need to be signed by the individual who is prescribing the drug and must include the correct date, full name of the patient, and his or her address.

Unlawful possession of a prescription drug is considered a Class C felony, which results in a maximum prison sentence of seven years. If you are not able to show a valid prescription for the drug you possessed, or are accused of a forged prescription, a conviction carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison.

Prescription Drug Fraud

The high price of prescription medication, as well as the epidemic of opioid abuse, has resulted in an increase in prescription drug fraud in Kansas and all over the country. While some people commit this type of drug crime as a means to obtain the medicine they cannot afford or to supply their addiction, others do so in order to sell prescription drugs for a profit.

Common Ways To Commit Prescription Drug Fraud:

  • Commonly known as “doctor shopping,” this occurs when a person visits multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions without telling them about all previous visits.
  • Forging signatures on prescriptions.
  • Altering prescriptions to change the prescription amount or the type of drug.
  • Stealing a prescription pad.
  • Using computers and printers to fake prescription pads.
  • Pretending to be a doctor or healthcare provider to obtain prescriptions.
  • Providing false information to healthcare providers.

Not only do patients commonly commit prescription drug fraud, physicians and medical professionals (e.g. nurses and pharmacists) are also commonly charged with this crime by issuing fraudulent, invalid, and unusual prescriptions. Prescription fraud committed by healthcare providers generally happens either during or outside the normal course of their practice or job duties.

Fraudulent Prescriptions

In Kansas, obtaining a fraudulent prescription is a Class A misdemeanor; however, a second or subsequent offense is considered a severity level 9 nonperson felony . Selling a fraudulent prescription is also a severity level 9, nonperson felony. Keep in mind, the charges could be harsher depending on the extent of the fraud (e.g. the number of false prescriptions, the amount of drugs involved, the number of people affected, etc.)

Common Criminal Defense Strategies in Prescription Fraud Cases Include:

  • The doctor or medical professional acted in “good faith” if a patient isn’t truthful about his/her medical information.
  • Unlawful search and seizure.
  • The defendant was not aware they were in possession of a prescription drug.
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