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What Is Prescription Drug Fraud in Tennessee?

Prescription fraud, a form of drug fraud, is a serious criminal offense in Tennessee. This article aims to provide an overview of prescription fraud in Tennessee, including its penalties, types of federal charges, and how a Nashville Prescription Fraud Defense Lawyer can assist those charged with this crime.

What is Prescription Fraud in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, prescription drug fraud is defined by Tennessee Code § 53-11-416 as knowingly or intentionally attempting to acquire or acquiring a controlled substance through:

  • Misrepresentation, providing false or misleading information about a medical condition or history.
  • Fraud, using deception or trickery to obtain a prescription.
  • Forgery, altering or counterfeiting a prescription.
  • Deception, using deceptive practices to obtain a prescription.
  • Subterfuge, employing any method to conceal the true purpose of obtaining a prescription.

What Are the Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud in Tennessee?

The penalties for prescription drug fraud in Tennessee vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Generally, it is classified as a Class D felony, punishable by:

  • Up to 2 years in prison
  • Fines up to $3,000

However, the penalties can be more severe in certain situations, such as:

  • Selling or distributing the fraudulently obtained controlled substance. This can be charged as a Class C felony, carrying a potential sentence of 3 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Involving a large quantity of controlled substances: The offense might be elevated to a Class B felony, resulting in 8 to 12 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

It is also important to note that a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for simply possessing a prescription drug that does not belong to you or giving your prescription to someone else. Such an offense is punishable by a year of imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines.

It's crucial to remember that these are just general guidelines, and the specific charges and penalties you face will depend on the specific facts of your case. The penalties and charges can be enhanced based on the schedule of drugs involved as well as the amount of drugs involved in the offense.

Beyond Tennessee: Federal Prescription Drug Fraud Charges

Prescription drug fraud can also be prosecuted under federal law. The specific charges and penalties will depend on the circumstances, but some common federal charges include:

  • Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances This involves agreeing with one or more individuals to distribute controlled substances illegally.
  • Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. This charge is applicable when an individual has a controlled substance in their possession with plans to sell or distribute it.
  • Healthcare fraud. This offense pertains to the use of deceptive or incorrect information to gain payment for healthcare services, which can include prescriptions obtained through fraudulent means.

Penalties for Federal Prescription Drug Fraud

Federal prescription drug fraud charges can carry significant penalties, including:

  • Long prison sentences. Depending on the specific charge and the amount of drugs involved, sentences can range from several years to life imprisonment.
  • Heavy fines. Federal courts can impose substantial financial penalties, reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How Can a Prescription Fraud Defense Lawyer Help You?

If you are facing charges of prescription drug fraud in Tennessee or elsewhere, it is crucial to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced prescription fraud defense lawyer can:

  • Review the facts of your case and develop a strong defense strategy.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to seek a plea deal or dismissal of the case.
  • Represent you in court and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Get Legal Counsel

Facing legal trouble can be overwhelming, but don't navigate this alone. The attorneys at Eldridge and Cravens, PC, can offer you individualized counsel and experienced legal counsel against such charges.

Learn more about how our firm can help you by calling (865) 544-2010.