In the Empire State, as is the case in much of the United States, physicians, licensed physicians’ assistants (P.A.), nurse practitioners, pharmacists and clinical psychologists can all legally prescribe medications under certain circumstances. Many people in the larger public may not think about it, but prescribing medication to patients is a weighty responsibility. You, like many physicians, wish to do everything in your power to treat your patients and alleviate their suffering. Unfortunately, law enforcement and others have accused you of overprescribing opioids. Not only is this an accusation that could permanently mar your reputation and career, but cost you your medical license and even your freedom. If you would like more information on how to defend charges of overprescribing opioids, please read on, then contact one of our experienced New York health care professional defense lawyers today.
What does it mean to overprescribe opioids in New York?
To overprescribe opioids means to prescribe a painkilling medication in excess or more often than necessary. Additionally, law enforcement agencies may refer to your medical clinic or doctor’s office as a “pill mill,” because you have been accused of distributing pain medication, usually opioids, without a legitimate medical purpose or outside the usual course of a professional medical practice. In addition to state medical board violations, which might lead to a suspension or revocation of your license, you might also face criminal charges.
What are the penalties for overprescribing opioids in New York?
In all of the fifty states, possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the alleged violator to the following penalties:
- A felony conviction on one’s criminal record
- Imprisonment from 5 to 40 years
- A fine of up to $500,000
How can you defend against charges of overprescribing opioids?
With the ever-present opioid abuse crisis impacting the United States, many prosecutors are overzealous in prosecuting these sorts of crimes, which is why if you face charges for overprescribing opioids, you need Paul E. Walker to provide a strong defense. The United States Constitution declares that all defendants are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if your case seems hopeless, you should remember that prosecutors must prove one or both of the following elements:
- You were not authorized to dispense controlled substances, and/or
- You were knowingly acting in an unauthorized manner or intended to do so
Whatever the strength of the evidence, a skilled defense attorney will hold prosecutors to that high standard. In the right hands, you might see a reduction or dismissal of your charges, so please give us a call today.
Contact our experienced New York City firm
If you are a medical professional accused of misconduct, contact the Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.