Florida Doctor-Shopping Penalties
Doctor -shopping occurs when you obtain a prescription for drugs from one doctor, then visit another but fail to inform the new doctor that you have already received treatment from another healthcare provider. In Florida, doctor-shopping is a serious offense and, without professional defense counsel, you can lose your freedom.
According to Florida Statute 893.13, it is a felony offense for any person to “withhold information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance when the person making the request has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of like therapeutic use from another practitioner within the previous 30 days.”
Make no mistake, doctor-shopping is a form of fraud. If convicted, you face serious penalties, including:
- Prison — A conviction for doctor shopping in Florida carries up to a five-year prison sentence.
- Criminal record — In addition to prison time, you will have a felony conviction on your criminal record. Having fraud on your record can greatly affect future employment opportunities.
- Fines — Depending on your case, you may be required to pay as much as $5,000 in fines.
- Loss of firearms — If you are convicted of doctor-shopping, certain civil rights are taken away from you, such as your right to own, use or possess a firearm.
- Shame — A conviction may label you an addict and a felon in your professional and social circles.
Defending against allegations for doctor-shopping is possible. By consulting with an experienced defense lawyer, you can learn more about the law, your case and the various defense strategies for clearing your name.