Navigating Nevada’s Prescription Fraud Laws: Understanding Penalties and Defenses
Prescription drug fraud is a serious crime in Nevada, with severe consequences for those who are convicted. The illegal acquisition or distribution of prescription drugs is punishable under state and federal law. If you are facing prescription fraud charges in Nevada, it is important to understand the penalties and defenses.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs:
Prescription drug fraud is most often associated with opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet. However, other commonly abused prescription drugs include sedatives and tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium, stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, and cough medicines that contain codeine.
Prescription Fraud Penalties in Nevada:
Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 453.421 governs the illegal possession, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances. Under this statute, prescription fraud is considered a category C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Additionally, NRS 453.336 makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance knowingly or intentionally without a valid prescription. Violations of this statute can result in a category E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Finally, if the prescription fraud involved the use of a false name, address, or other identifying information, the defendant may also face charges of identity theft under NRS 193.130.
In addition to the penalties mentioned above, individuals convicted of prescription fraud in Nevada may also face collateral consequences, such as difficulty obtaining employment, housing, and professional licenses.
Defenses to Prescription Fraud Charges in Nevada:
There are several defenses that may be available to individuals facing prescription fraud charges in Nevada, including:
- Lack of knowledge or intent to commit fraud: The prosecution must prove that the defendant knew or intended to commit prescription fraud. If the defendant did not know that their conduct was illegal or did not intend to defraud anyone, they may be able to avoid conviction.
- Invalid prescription: If the prescription used to obtain the controlled substance was invalid or was not issued for a legitimate medical purpose, the defendant may be able to argue that they did not commit prescription fraud.
- Lawful possession: If the defendant had a valid prescription for the controlled substance, they cannot be charged with prescription fraud.
Alternatively, if the defendant was coerced or threatened into committing the fraud by someone else, they may be able to claim duress or coercion as a defense. In some cases, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced sentence in exchange for cooperation with law enforcement.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is prescription fraud?
Prescription fraud is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain a prescription drug by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or subterfuge.
What are the penalties for prescription fraud in Nevada?
The penalties for prescription fraud in Nevada can include fines, imprisonment, and probation, as well as collateral consequences like difficulty obtaining employment, housing, and professional licenses.
What are some commonly abused prescription drugs?
Some commonly abused prescription drugs include opioids (such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin), benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Valium), and stimulants (such as Adderall and Ritalin)
Can I be charged with prescription fraud if I have a valid prescription for the controlled substance?
No, if you have a valid prescription for the controlled substance, you cannot be charged with prescription fraud.
What defenses are available to individuals facing prescription fraud charges?
Defenses to prescription fraud charges may include lack of knowledge or intent to commit fraud, invalid prescription, and lawful possession.
If you have been charged with prescription fraud in Nevada, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. An attorney can also help you build a strong defense and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.