A doctor in the pulmonary medicine department at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida was arrested for allegedly obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to an article on News4jax.com. As criminal defense attorneys in Jacksonville, we have handled many cases involving obtaining controlled substances by fraud. What that charge typically means is that someone is suspected of obtaining prescription drugs without a prescription. As opposed to well know illegal drugs such as cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine or marijuana, the drugs in these cases are often painkillers such as Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin and similar drugs.
These crimes most often involve people who have developed an addiction to highly addictive painkillers rather than people distributing or trafficking the drugs for profit. Quite often, the person developed the addiction after being prescribed the drugs after an injury or medical procedure and is unable to withstand the pain without the drugs after the prescription runs out. This makes this kind of crime less serious, in our opinion, than more traditional drug crimes.
However, the Florida legislature has enacted laws that provide for extremely harsh penalties for people charged with this kind of crime. For instance, it only takes a few pills to reach the trafficking in controlled substances threshold which, at the lowest level, carries a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in Florida state prison. For this reason, any charge involving obtaining prescription drugs or controlled substances by fraud must be taken very seriously and addressed at the earliest opportunity.