Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication
Criminal diversion of prescription medication is a serious drug charge in New York. It is not prosecuted nearly as much as other drug crimes but does have serious consequences associated with it in. Penalties for prescription fraud cases depend on the severity of charges brought against a defendant and range from class A misdemeanor to class C felonies. The most serious of these charges carry a prison term of up to 15 years. Prosecutors often tack on additional charges with this type of crime including larceny, grand larceny, and health care fraud and abuse.
What Is Criminal Diversion?
When facing prescription fraud charges in New York, it is important to understand criminal diversion. To be convicted of prescription fraud, a person has to have committed a diversion act in a criminal manner. According to New York Law 178.00, a diversion act is knowingly transferring, delivering, or receiving something of money value for prescription medication. The penal code also considers obtaining a prescription without having a medical need for the medication an act of criminal diversion. Someone that transfers a prescription without the proper authority to do so is also guilty of this act.
Prescription Medication Charges
A 4th-degree criminal diversion of prescription medication in New York is a fourth-degree class A misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a 1-year jail sentence. A defendant could be charged with a 3rd-degree charge if the value of the medication was more than $1,000. Additionally, anyone that was convicted of this type of crime previously and committed it again would face this more serious charge. A third-degree charge is a class E felony and maxes out with four years in prison. 2nd-degree criminal diversion of prescription medication is a class D felony with a maximum prison sentence of up to 7 years. To be found guilty of a second-degree felony in New York, the value of the medication exchanged must have been more than $3,000. The first-degree act of this crime is a class C felony and is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. To be convicted of this crime, the exchange must equal to greater than $50,000.
Criminal Defense Attorney in New York
Because this is a serious offense with significant jail time associated with it, it is important to get a reputable lawyer on your side. There are several defenses that can be used under New York law. For instance, pharmacist, physicians, or those that care for others as a career qualify for good faith defenses. If any of these defenses apply to you, you can work with an attorney to present proof and evidence to the courts.
Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. has been a criminal defense attorney for three decades in New York. When you are facing a criminal diversion of prescription medication charge, it’s important to have an attorney represent you in court and provide you with a solid defense. Contact us to discuss important aspects of your case and find out how to move forward.