Doctor Shopping and Prescription Fraud – California Health & Safety Code 11173
This is something that is rampant in Los Angeles county and prosecutors, law enforcement and judges are on the look-out for those individuals who are basically addicted to a certain drug and are moving from doctor to doctor ordering more and more prescription medication, taking it themselves, selling it to friends or selling it on the street.
This type of drug crime is a huge problem and even some of the doctors have been caught up in the mix as it relates to these prescription fraud cases and the situations where doctors are really not taking a good hard look at the patient to make the determination whether they in fact need the prescription medication, and not keeping good enough records to be able to catch somebody who is abusing prescription medication.
So, that's kind of the bad end of California Health & Safety Code 11173 and some of the punishments which comes along with it, which obviously can include jail time and other restrictions on the person.
Laws Keeping Drug Addicts Out of Prison
On the good end there's a lot of different Propositions that have definitely taken hold over the last few years because of Governor Jerry Brown, the legislature and of course, the voting public. Many Propositions and laws have been passed and really what they're doing is they're keeping people who are addicted to drugs out of prison.
We don't want our prisons filled with drug addicts and those individuals involved with drugs. If we're going to fill the prisons, I think the legislature wants them filled with people who are committing violent felonies or sex offenses — those crimes that have a horrible impact of society.
We've really geared our system towards trying to help people who are addicted to prescription medication and get involved in these doctor-switching where they're going to different doctors and getting prescription medication.
The one thing I really don't like to see though is a conviction for that because that stays on your record and anybody looking to potentially hire you or if you're trying to get higher education, they're going to see that prescription fraud.
They're going to see the moving from doctor to doctor. They're going to see that drug addiction and they're going to be concerned about hiring you for a job or letting you into a particular educational institution.
Criminal Lawyer Negotiation To Avoid a Conviction
We really try to work hard to avoid convictions, especially when our clients are just charged with some sort of a drug possession or prescription fraud because the root of that problem is drugs and most of the time, they're really just hurting themselves and I think that's why a lot of these Propositions and the judges and prosecutors have finally capitulated an allowed a lot of these people to avail themselves of these programs and dismiss their cases.
In some cases, a lot of times they're able to seal and destroy their arrest record so nobody can see it, and now you really can move on with your life free from the criminal justice system and free from the negative effects that law enforcement can have on your criminal record when you're trying to advance in your life.
So, if you've got a situation where you're charged with this Health & Safety Code Section 11173 related to going to different doctors, getting prescriptions — really what you're doing usually under those circumstances is abusing prescription medication.
A lot of times we can get you help. Not only to keep you out of custody but also to protect and clean your record so that you can move forward in a positive direction free from the criminal justice system.