Prescription Fraud: Va. Code 18.2-258.1

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What is Prescription Fraud in Virginia?

Virginia makes it illegal to commit Prescription Fraud in Va. Code § 18.2-258.1:

It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain or attempt to obtain any drug or procure or attempt to procure the administration of any controlled substance or marijuana: (i) by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, embezzlement, or subterfuge; (ii) by the forgery or alteration of a prescription or of any written order; (iii) by the concealment of a material fact; or (iv) by the use of a false name of the giving of a false address.

Va. Code § 18.2-258.1

What is a “controlled substance” in Virginia?

Some of the most common examples of controlled substances for this type of Fraud are:

  • Xanax
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Promethazine with Codeine
  • Steroids
  • Valium
  • Opiates

Examples of Prescription Fraud include:

  • Creating, using, or attempting to use a fake prescription
  • Visiting different doctors to obtain multiple orders of the same prescription
  • Using a fake ID to obtain prescription medication
  • Impersonating medical staff to call in prescriptions
  • Lying about one’s health to obtain a prescription
  • Altering the prescribed drug quantity

Who does the Prescription Fraud law apply to?

A doctor who has written a fraudulent prescription or a person using the fake prescription can be held liable under this code section. For a physician to be charged with prescription fraud, he or she has to issue a prescription outside the normal scope of his or her practice, or issue a prescription for an invalid medical reason.

What are the penalties in Virginia?

If convicted, prescription fraud is generally a Class 6 felony. In Virginia, Class 6 felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine.

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You should hire an attorney. A conviction cannot be expunged from your criminal record meaning it can impact security clearances, immigration issues, and job applications, even if the immediate consequences are not severe. You want an attorney to evaluate all possible evidence the Commonwealth intends to offer. An attorney will spot possible defenses such as illegal search and seizure, a defective search warrant, or other constitutional violations.

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