When a friend asks for an aspirin, you don't think twice about giving them a couple. However, when it comes to prescription medications, different rules apply. In Texas, prescription drug charges can get you and your friend into serious trouble with the law where you can face fines or even jail time.
Most people know that carrying a controlled substance is against the law if it is obtained through fraudulent means. Yet there are a range of charges that you may not even be aware of that can get you into legal trouble. In addition to sharing medication with other people, here are three other areas where prescription drugs can get you into hot water.
It's Fraud to Give a Prescription to Someone for a Different Medical Purpose
Under the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.129, a person can be charged with fraud if they knowingly and intentionally provide a prescription drug form or prescription to another person for any reason other than a "valid medical purpose during the course of professional practice." So you cannot receive or give another person a prescription or a prescription form if that person will use the medication for other health reasons.
It's Fraud to Alter a Doctor's Legal Prescription
After the physician provides you with a written prescription, you may have noticed that they have written down the incorrect dosage or quantity as you travel to the pharmacy. You may feel inclined to change prescription in the car to what is the right dosage amount, or to add additional medications to the one script so you don't have to make a second trip to the pharmacy.
However, it is against the law to change the doctor's legal prescription, even if you do it to fix a known error. You could face prescription drugs charges if you change the refill information, quantity, strength or dosage of the prescription medication. You can also face charges if you add addition medications to the script.
It's Fraud to Shop Providers to Gain Additional Prescription Medications
Another instance where you could be committing fraud is if you try to go to multiple doctors to get additional prescription medications. This is often times referred to as “doctor shopping”. You could be charged with a felony for failing to inform a physician of any other practitioners prescribing a controlled substance to that individual. You may consider doing this if you get a prescription but notice it isn't the full quantity. Instead of traveling to your regular physician, you may decide to set up an appointment with a closer doctor to get the rest of the prescription. However, all physicians must lawfully limit the medication quantities given to patients to prevent serious health complications and prescription drug abuse. If you attempt to obtain another prescription for a controlled substance from another physician through deception or misrepresentation you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence.
There are many instances where you may be charged with prescription drug charges even though you believe that you did not commit a crime. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes PLLC for a free consultation to discuss your case.