If you are caught excessively prescribing drugs in the state of California, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor. Crimes of this nature are prosecuted under the California Business & Professions Code Section 725(b). Our team at the Simmrin Law Group can help you learn more about this charge and how to fight it.
The Definition of the Excessive Prescribing of Drugs
To be convicted of excessively prescribing drugs, a doctor or nurse must repeatedly and excessively prescribe, provide, dispense, or administer drugs to a patient, in accordance with BPA 725(b). An example of excessively prescribing drugs may be a doctor or nurse repeatedly prescribing medication to a patient that wildly exceeds the industry standards or the standard of care for that prescription.
Illegal acts under BPC 725(b) are prosecuted as a misdemeanor in the state of California. A conviction can lead to a fine of between $100 and $600, or imprisonment in a county jail for a term of 60 to 180 days, or both.
To add insult to injury, you could also lose your practice. If you are convicted, you would also be subject to disciplinary action and may run the risk of having your professional license suspended or worse: revoked.
Defenses for a Charge of Excessive Prescribing of Drugs Under BPC 725(b)
Individuals who are charged with excessive prescribing of drugs may still have legal options available to them. It is important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you or a loved one is facing a charge under BPC 725(b). A lawyer can look over your case to determine if any of the following defenses might apply:
- You did not prescribe what the law would call an “excessive” amount of drugs
- You did prescribe too many drugs to a patient, but only on one occasion and not “repeatedly”
- You are the victim of entrapment
Entrapment in particular is incredibly difficult to prove, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. A good drug crimes lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine if the police baited you into repeatedly prescribing an amount of drugs that was above the industry standard. Chances are you are the victim of entrapment if the officer engaged in any of the following behavior:
- Pressure or harassment
- Intimidations or threats
Determining an “Excessive” Amount
Remember, to be convicted of this charge, the prosecution must be able to show that you prescribed an “excessive” amount of a particular drug or treatment to a patient as excessive is defined under BPC 725(b). However, your prescriptions are your best evidence, as they can prove that what you prescribed was not excessive and that you stayed within the customary practices and the boundaries of the standard of care.
Also, remember the key here is for your prescription to be “repeated.” If you prescribe drugs to a patient one time that exceeds industry standards, then the prosecution has no case. If they cannot prove that you repeatedly prescribed drugs in higher amounts to that patient, then you cannot be convicted of excessive prescribing of drugs in the state of California.
Those who are charged with the excessive prescribing of drugs are often charged with additional charges on top of the initial charge. These charges can include:
- Making a false statement to obtain a drug
- Writing an illegal prescription
- Forging a prescription
- Altering an existing prescription
Of course, a conviction on any of these charges can add both fines and prison time to your sentence. While most of them are charged as misdemeanors, the acts of forging or altering a prescription can be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are a serious matter because a conviction means more jail time, possibly in a harsher jail, along with steep fines and court costs – not to mention the possibility of losing everything you’ve worked for.
If you are facing multiple charges, especially charges involving forging or altering a prescription, then you need a good lawyer on your side. Contact the Simmrin Law Group today for more information.
Facing This Charge in California? We Can Help.
Individuals charged under California Business & Professions Code Section 725(b) can end up facing prison time and fines, not to mention a smear on their reputations, both professional and personal. The last thing you need is for this charge to affect your livelihood.
The Simmrin Law Group offers a FREE initial case evaluation to individuals accused of excessively prescribing drugs in the state of California.