Prescription Drug Crimes

If you are accused of a criminal offense for prescription drug trafficking or abuse in Queens County or the surrounding areas in New York City, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, or The Bronx, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner to discuss your case.

Many prosecutors view the epidemic of prescription drug abuse to be just as deadly as cocaine or heroine addiction. Throughout the State of New York the number of deaths from unintentional drug overdoses have increase dramatically because of the ingestion of pharmaceutical drugs in general and opioid analgesics in particular. The abuse of Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin are common in the New York City and surrounding areas of the state.

Queens Prescription Drug Offense Lawyer

Because of the serious nature of criminal accusations for the possession or distribution of prescription drugs, you want an attorney focused on fighting these types of cases. Rochelle Berliner is a former Assistant District Attorney with the New York County District Attorney's Office. For more than twelve years she worked in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor where prosecuted serious and complex drug cases at all levels. Since May of 2005, she has used that experience to zealously defend those accused of serious drug crimes including prescription drug trafficking and abuse, and the illegal possession and sale of prescription drugs.

If you were arrested or are under investigation for any prescription drug crime, do not talk to any law enforcement officer about the criminal accusations. Instead, call our office to talk with a criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Office today.

New York Prescription Drug Law Overview

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Accusations Against Health Care Professionals

Unlike in other types of drug crimes, prescription drugs originate from legal sources within the pharmaceutical industry, physicians' offices and pharmacies. In order to crack down on these crimes, drug enforcement officers and narcotics prosecutors focus their attention on doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and pharmacy workers.

In an effort to stem the tide of prescription drug addiction, more criminal accusations are being filed against health care professions. Prosecutors are taking a more aggressive stance in barring the dispensing of highly addictive prescription drugs.

More arrest and search warrants are being served in these cases. Many of these cases involve allegations that the health care providers profited from illicit trafficking by violating their oath to "do no harm." These prosecutions center around whether the doctors and nurse practitioners exceed their lawful authority to dispense prescription drugs under the following conditions:

  1. in bad faith;
  2. for no legitimate medical purpose, and
  3. outside the usual course of accepted medical practices.

Representing health care professionals charged with criminal offenses requires a higher level of skill and experience. Many of these investigations involve complicated undercover sting operations, the issuance of search warrants, and evidence collected from wire tap and electronic surveillance.

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Prosecutions for Prescription Drug Trafficking and Abuse

In other cases, the prosecution focuses on alleged traffickers who steal or forge prescriptions. Other common crimes include patients who "shop" for different doctors to prescribe these prescription medications. Although some patients "doctor shop" to feed their addiction, drug enforcement officers often allege the drugs are being resold to other addicts on the street.

The most serious cases involve accusations that a person operated a drug distribution ring or was involved in such a conspiracy. Lower level participants are often charged with the conspiracy, possession of forged prescriptions, or the sale and possession of these controlled substances.

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"ISTOP" - Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing

ISTOP stands for the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing. Effective August 27, 2013, most doctors and other prescribers are required to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry when writing prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances.

This database immediately tracks the prescriptions written in the State of New York to detect doctor shopping for potentially addictive painkillers such oxycontin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. When the individual shows up at the pharmacy to fill the prescription, the pharmacist is able to see information in the database and refuse to fill the prescription on that basis. New York's database is one of the most comprehensive programs in the country aimed at preventing doctor shopping.

Critics, including drug companies and medical organizations, argued that ISTOP makes it more difficult for patients with a genuine need for pain medication to obtain it.

Next year, the State of New York will begin requiring electronic prescriptions instead of handwritten prescriptions. This is expected to cut the number of prescription forgeries that occur throughout the state.

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Additional Information on Prescription Drug Crimes

Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement - The New York State Department of Health's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) is tasked with combatting the illegal trafficking and abuse of prescription controlled substances in the State of New York. BNE monitors pharmaceuticals through the issuance of licenses to distributors, manufacturers, hospitals, nursing homes, and researchers. The BNE also investigates crimes form illegal sales involving forgery of prescriptions, theft and fraudulent visits to a doctor's office to obtain a prescription.

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Attorney for Prescription Drug Cases in Queens, NY

When a person is prosecuted for prescription drug crimes, related charges often include health care fraud, grand larceny, criminal diversion of prescription medications, and the criminal sale of controlled substances. Rochelle Berliner is a Queens criminal defense lawyer with a wealth of experience in defending her clients in these serious drug cases and fighting for the best possible result.

The Law Office represents clients facing drug charges in communities throughout Queens County, Kings County, Bronx County, New York County, Nassau County and Suffolk County. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call or submit an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.