Columbus Prescription Drug Defense Lawyers
Strong advocacy for Central Ohioans charged with illegal prescription offenses
These days, there are prescriptions for almost every type of physical or mental ailment. Ohio has laws that aim to balance the need for these medications with the need to ensure the drugs are safe, are being properly prescribed, and are being properly used. Convictions for any type of drug offense, including prescription offenses, can result in a lengthy prison sentence, fines, difficulty finding work and a place to live, and other severe consequences. Doctors and pharmacists who are convicted of prescription offenses may lose their professional licenses.
At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our Columbus prescription drug crime defense lawyers understand the federal and state laws that govern the manufacture, ordering, and use of prescription drugs. Our criminal defense lawyers also understand the legal and factual defenses available for your case. The sooner you contact our experienced drug defense lawyers the sooner we can start working towards having the charges dismissed, preparing strategies for your trial, and negotiating plea agreements with the prosecution. Some clients may also be eligible for a drug treatment program instead of incarceration.
How can we help?
- What are common prescription drug crime charges in Ohio?
- What types of drugs are often subject to illegal prescriptions in Columbus?
- How can your prescription drug defense attorneys help my case?
- Do you have a prescription defense lawyer near me?
Chapter 2925 establishes the different types of drug crimes in Ohio. Generally, possession of any controlled substance in Ohio is illegal unless the drug was properly prescribed by an authorized physician. Controlled substances are classified as Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V drugs. Schedule I drugs are the most serious and Schedule V drugs are the least serious. Most crimes involving drugs are felonies; a few are misdemeanors.
Some of the common criminal charges in prescription cases include the following:
The person who obtains the drugs used deception to acquire the drugs. Section 2925.22 – Deception to obtain a dangerous drug: provides as follows:
No person, by deception, shall procure the administration of, a prescription for, or the dispensing of, a dangerous drug or shall possess an uncompleted preprinted prescription blank used for writing a prescription for a dangerous drug.
If the person possesses an uncompleted preprinted prescription blank used for writing a prescription for a dangerous drug or if the drug involved is a dangerous drug, except as otherwise provided in [the statute], deception to obtain a dangerous drug is a felony of the fifth degree.
Obtaining drugs through deception can be a more serious felony if the defendant has a prior drug offense conviction or a felony of the fourth degree conviction. There are additional penalty considerations (which can increase the severity of the Columbus prescription crime) if the drug “is a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance included in schedule I or II, with the exception of marihuana.”
Larger amounts of the drug can also result in the drug offense being upgraded to a more serious offense. Possession of an uncompleted preprinted blank prescription form can also result in a loss of driving privileges for up to five years, including commercial driver’s licenses.
Illegal processing of drug documents. Ohio law generally makes it illegal to:
- “Knowingly make a false statement in any prescription, order, report, or record required” by law.
- “Intentionally make, utter, or sell, or knowingly possess any of the following that is a false or forged:
- A prescription
- An uncompleted preprinted prescription blank used for writing a prescription
- An official written order
- A license for a terminal distributor of dangerous drugs
- A license for a manufacturer of dangerous drugs, outsourcing facility, and other entities.
- Acquire by theft a prescription, an uncompleted preprinted prescription blank used for writing a prescription, and other documents.
- “Make or affix any false or forged label to a package or receptacle containing any dangerous drugs.
A conviction of this offense is generally a felony of the fifth degree (which can be upgraded) and will result in a loss of driving privileges for up to five years.
Illegal dispensing of drug samples. In Ohio, it is a crime to “knowingly furnish another a sample drug.” Some exceptions for pharmacists, licensed doctors, and others may apply – if certain conditions are met. This crime is generally either a misdemeanor of the first degree, a felony of the fifth degree or a felony of the fourth degree. Convictions can also result in a driver’s license suspension for up to five years.
Forging the signature of a physician or others who are authorized to prescribe medications is also a crime. Ohio does permit residents who have a proper card to obtain medical marijuana from an authorized physician.
Ohio also has laws that govern when doctors and other healthcare professionals can use telemedicine to prescribe medications, as opposed to seeing patients in person to write a prescription.
The federal government also has laws that make many prescription transactions illegal. The US Drug Enforcement Agency is usually involved in the prosecution of federal prescription drug offenses brought in and near Columbus.
Some of the drugs that commonly are involved in illegal prescription crimes in Columbus include:
At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus prescription defense lawyers assert every legal and factual defense available. These defenses include:
- Motions to suppress any evidence that was illegally seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
- Motions to suppress any statements taken in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution.
- Arguing that the prosecution failed to prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, including any requirements of knowledge or intent.
- Arguing that the chain of custody of any evidence was broken.
We work aggressively to have the criminal charges dismissed and to obtain acquittals in court. We negotiate with prosecutors, with your consent, about reducing illegal prescription drug charges to less serious offenses.
Our Columbus defense lawyers also explain when you may be eligible for a diversion program. In Franklin County, home to Columbus, you may qualify for a program that focuses on treatment for substance abuse instead of placing you in prison. We’ll explain if you qualify and how the diversion program works.
The Columbus office of Soroka & Associates is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re close to I-71 and Rt. 23. We also meet clients at detention facilities if needed.
Speak with our respected Columbus prescription drug defense lawyers now
You need to remain silent. Any statements you make can be used against you. At Soroka & Associates, our drug defense lawyers speak for you. We’ll explain your rights, review what happened, and prepare a strong defense. We have helped many defendants obtain their freedom. Call us at 614-358-6525 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.