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'Doctor shopping' has serious consequences in Florida

People have many misconceptions about drug crimes and the people convicted of drug crimes. Some people think you have to be a hardened criminal involved with elaborate drug rings to wind up facing charges. Or people assume that you have be using or selling drugs like heroin and cocaine to be arrested.

In reality, any person can be arrested and charged with a crime involving any illicit substance, including prescription drugs. And make no mistake about it: The penalties of a conviction can be devastating.

For instance, recently, police arrested a Florida woman and accused her of "doctor shopping." Doctor shopping is the practice of going to multiple doctors seeking the same prescription without their knowledge. This makes it possible for a person to get several prescriptions for one ailment.

The woman is a middle-aged nurse from suburban Florida, and she had allegedly received 4,465 pills from 10 different doctors including Ambien and hydrocodone. At least one of those doctors claimed that the woman was also able to fill an unauthorized prescription from him.

After her arrest, the woman evidently lost her job and is now out of jail on bail.

Doctor shopping is a drug offense in Florida, and people convicted of this misconduct can be charged with a felony. If convicted, they can be sentenced to prison and ordered to pay hefty fines. As this case highlights, a person can also face other penalties like job loss if accused of a drug crime.

What we hope readers take away from this post is an understanding that no one is immune to criminal charges. Additionally, you can be charged with a felony offense for crimes involving legal, prescription drugs if they are illegally obtained.

Any person accused of a drug crime involving prescription drugs and/or doctor shopping should take seriously the right to defend against the charges. With the help of an attorney familiar with these types of offenses, it can be possible to negotiate reduced penalties or fight to have the charges dismissed.

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