Prescription Drug Crimes
Most people associate problems relating to drug addiction only with illegal controlled substances. Many people who are prescribed powerful medications, however, find themselves addicted to the drugs even after their treatment has ended.
Patients who attempt to obtain more prescription medication than they were diagnosed or others who simply try to acquire such drugs without valid prescriptions can face criminal charges. The penalties for a crime relating to prescription medication can be just as severe as if an alleged offender had possessed an illegal narcotic.
Lawyer for Prescription Drug Crimes in Apple Valley, MN
Do you believe that you might be under investigation or have you been arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for a crime relating to prescription medication? You will want to immediately contact James Blumberg Law for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
James Blumberg is a criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who represents clients in many surrounding areas, including Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park, Blaine, Woodbury, Plymouth, and Maple Grove. He can review your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Minnesota Prescription Drug Crimes Information Center
- How might a person be sentenced for illegally possessing a prescription drug?
- What is prescription drug fraud?
- Where can I find more information about prescription drug issues in Minnesota?
The penalties for crimes involving the illegal possession or sale of prescription medications depend on the specific drugs involved. Most prescription drugs are classified under Minnesota’s schedules of controlled substances under Minnesota Statute § 152.02.
Some of the most common prescription drugs involved in illegal possession or sale offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Schedule I — Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and Methaqualone (Quaalude);
- Schedule II — Amphetamine (Adderall), Alfentanil (Alfenta), Butorphanol (Stadol), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic, Durogesic), Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), Levorphanol, Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), Methamphetamine (Desoxyn), Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Morphine, Oxycodone (Oxycet, OxyContin, Percocet), Pethidine (Meperidine), and Secobarbital;
- Schedule III — Benzphetamine, Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Suboxone, Subutex), and human growth hormones;
- Schedule IV — Alprazolam (Xanax), Carisoprodol (Soma), Chloral Hydrate (Somnote), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Clorazepate (Novo-Clopate, Tranxene), Dextropropoxyphene (Darvon), Diazepam (Valium), Estazolam (Eurodin, ProSom), Flurazepam (Dalmane, Dalmadorm), Lorazepam (Alzapam, Ativan), Oxazepam (Serax), Phenobarbital, Temazepam (Normison, Restoril), Triazolam (Halcion), Zaleplon (Andante, Sonata, Starnoc), and Zolpidem (Ambien);
- Schedule V — Ezogabine (Potiga, Trobalt), Lacosamide (Vimpat), and Pregabalin.
Depending on the type of alleged crime and the specific class of the prescription drug involved, alleged offenders face the following penalties:
Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree (Minnesota Statute § 152.025)
Any Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substance
Any Schedule IV controlled substance
First Offense: Up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense
Subsequent Offense: Minimum of six months up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000
Controlled Substance Crime in the Fourth Degree (Minnesota Statute § 152.024)
Any Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance with intent to sell
Any Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance; sale of any Schedule IV or V controlled substance to a person under the age of 18; or conspiring with or employing a person under the age of 18 to unlawfully sell a Schedule IV or V controlled substance
First Offense: Up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000
Subsequent Offense: Minimum of one year up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for a subsequent offense
Controlled Substance Crime in the Third Degree (Minnesota Statute § 152.023)
Sale of any Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance to a person under the age of 18; or conspiring with or employing a person under the age of 18 to unlawfully sell a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance
First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000
Subsequent Offense: Minimum of two years up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 for a subsequent offense
Under Minnesota Statute § 152.025, a person can also be charged with Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree if he or she procures, attempts to procure, possesses, or has control over a controlled substance by any of the following means:
- fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge;
- using a false name or giving false credit; or
- falsely assuming the title of, or falsely representing any person to be, a manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, doctor of osteopathy licensed to practice medicine, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or other authorized person for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance.
Some of the most common schemes alleged in cases of prescription fraud include:
- Altering physicians’ prescriptions to obtain additional amounts;
- “Doctor shopping,” or visiting multiple physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions;
- Printing fake prescriptions;
- Using prescription pads from actual physicians’ offices with different call back numbers (such as the alleged offender’s phone number or the phone number of an accomplice); and
- Writing prescriptions on actual prescription pads stolen from physicians’ offices.
The Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) — The PMP was created as a way to prevent doctor shopping. Pharmacies licensed and located in Minnesota are supposed to report to the PMP all schedule II, III, and IV controlled substance prescriptions that they dispense, including any dispensed for non-Minnesota residents or mailed/shipped out of state. On this website you can learn more about interstate data sharing, find answers to frequently asked questions, and also view reports and statistics.
Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program
2829 University Avenue Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Drug Abuse Trends in Minneapolis/St. Paul: 2015 — You can find statistics relating to prescription drug abuse in Minnesota in this quantitative report. The report analyzes trends, noting that that total number of prescriptions dispensed and reported to the PMP increased from 503,613 in March 2014 to 715,055 March 2015. You can also view a table that lists the top ten prescriptions issued in Minnesota during those time periods.
Find a Lawyer for Prescription Drug Crimes in Dakota County
If you are being investigated or you were already arrested in the Twin Cities for any kind of alleged crime involving prescription drugs, you need to take the allegations very seriously. Just like illegal drug offenses, these crimes carry steep penalties.
Apple Valley criminal defense attorney James Blumberg of James Blumberg Law is a former prosecutor who represents clients all over Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Washington County, Anoka County, Carver County, and Dakota County. He can fight to get criminal charges for sale or possession of a controlled substance reduced or dismissed.
Our lawyer helps people in Lakeville, Minnetonka, St. Cloud, Bloomington, Burnsville, Eagan, and many other nearby communities in the North Star State. Call (952) 431-7758 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney evaluate your case during a free consultation.