Texas Prescription Drug Fraud

What is Prescription Drug Fraud?

Prescription drug fraud occurs when someone obtains any medication by through illegal means. Oftentimes, people may use forged prescriptions to deceive pharmacies into distributing them unprescribed medications. Others who commit this crime obtain the prescriptions from legitimate medical facilities that are willing to perform unethical practices.

Including the previous scenarios, there are several ways in which someone may commit prescription medication fraud, which comes at a huge cost to many physicians, hospitals, insurers, and even taxpayers. However, one of the greatest dangers posed by this crime, and one of the greatest dangers and the reason why the penalties for committing this form of fraud is so severe, is the cost of human life. Every single day, countless lives are ultimately lost to drug addiction, leaving behind devastated friends and family.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 15,000 people die each year from prescription overdoses. These overdoses lead to an additional 1.2 million visits to the emergency room each year.

To learn more about prescription drug fraud, please see Section 481.129 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

Is Prescription Fraud a Felony?

The consequences of being charged with prescription fraud are serious, but not all charges will result in a felony. The severity of the crime ultimately depends on what schedule drug was used when committing prescription fraud. However, in most situations, being charged with this crime will result in a felony charge.

Texas Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud

Under Texas law, committing prescription drug fraud is a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances of the fraud committed, you may be looking at not only huge fines but also incarceration. The penalties for prescription drug fraud charges depends on what Schedule drug was used and the context of the offense.

Texas Class A Misdemeanor: Schedule V Drug

Those who have committed prescription drug fraud with a Schedule V drug may face a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include the following:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000.

Texas Third Degree Felony: Schedule II or IV Drug

Any person who has committed prescription drug fraud with a Schedule II or IV drug may face a third-degree felony. The maximum legal consequences for a third-degree felony include:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

Texas Second Degree Felony: Schedule I or II Substance

If the alleged offender committed prescription drug fraud with a Schedule I or II substance, he or she may face a second-degree felony. The maximum legal ramifications of a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

Texas Class A Misdemeanor: Creating or Intent to Deliver Counterfeit Prescription Drug

In the event that a person tries to create, manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to deliver a counterfeit prescription drug, he or she will face a class A misdemeanor. The legal consequences for a class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000.

Texas Second Degree Felony: Attempts to Deliver Prescription Form or Drug

If a person delivers or attempts to deliver any of the following he or she will face a second-degree felony:

  • A prescription form or
  • A prescription for a Schedule II drug.

If You’re Facing Prescription Drug Fraud in Texas

If you’ve been charged, or are expecting to be charged with prescription drug fraud in the near future, it’s imperative that you reach out to an experienced Austin Drug Attorney in order to obtain the best results for your case.