The Ultimate Guide for Fighting Prescription Fraud Charges in Utah

prescription drug charges under magnifying glass

30 Oct 2023 /

The Ultimate Guide for Fighting Prescription Fraud Charges in Utah

Prescription Drug Charges in Utah: What to do

The police show up at your door with a warrant for your arrest on prescription fraud charges. You’re confused, scared, and overwhelmed as they put you in handcuffs and take you to jail.

How could picking up your normal medication at the pharmacy land you with a criminal record? 

Prescription fraud charges can blindside even well-meaning patients in Utah.

Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through fighting these allegations. This guide will help you take control of your charges and protect your future.

Gravis Law is here to help you, along with thousands of other happy clients in Utah. Call us today at 385-380-5927 for the support and defense you need, or click here to schedule a free consultation

1. Understand the Potential Penalties

In Utah, prescription fraud is prosecuted under the False Prescription Statute 58-37-8. Charges can include:

  • Fraud to obtain a prescription

  • Forgery of a prescription

  • Possession of a forged prescription

Penalties vary based on your criminal history and details of the case. But possible sentences for prescription fraud include:

  • Up to 5 years in prison

  • Fines up to $5,000

  • Permanent criminal record

Knowing the stakes emphasizes the urgency of crafting an assertive legal defense. An attorney can analyze the charges and advise if you are eligible for any diversion programs.

2. Review the Evidence and Police Reports

Never plead guilty without examining the evidence against you first. Your lawyer will review police reports plus:

  • Prescription records

  • Pharmacy surveillance video

  • Recorded statements

  • Drug test results

  • Expert witness testimony

Gaps, inconsistencies, errors in testing, lack of proof of intent, or 4th Amendment violations could reveal vulnerabilities for getting charges reduced or dismissed.

3. Tell Your Side of the Story

Do not let law enforcement dominate the narrative. Draft a detailed statement of events from your perspective to share with your attorney.


  • Why you possessed the medication

  • How you obtained the prescription

  • Your doctor relationship and diagnosis

  • Any reasons for confusion or mistakes

Your insight will help build an effective defense highlighting the weaknesses of the charges.

4. Get Character Reference Letters

Upstanding character alone does not beat criminal allegations. But showing you are a contributing member of society can help gain empathy from prosecutors and judges.

Ask people who know you well, like:

  • Employers

  • Friends

  • Community leaders

  • Teachers

  • Coaches

To write letters vouching for your law-abiding nature and integrity. These will complement any defense disputing the facts of the case.

5. Negotiate with Prosecutors

An attorney experienced in prescription fraud charges may be able to negotiate with prosecutors before your case goes to trial.

They will highlight evidence flaws, mitigating factors, and your background to place you in the most favorable light possible.

Potential options include:

  • Getting charges dismissed

  • Reducing charges to a misdemeanor

  • Deferred adjudication

  • Participating in a diversion program

This spares you the risks and stress of trial while avoiding harsh criminal penalties.

Alternative Defenses in Prescription Fraud Cases

If flaws in the charges cannot be established, alternative defenses to explore include:

  • You lacked criminal intent – Perhaps you did not realize the prescription was forged or had no intent to defraud anyone.

  • Wrongful arrest – Officers may have arrested you without probable cause if they failed to conduct an adequate investigation beforehand.

  • Entrapment – Undercover officers pressuring you excessively into committing fraud could make a case for entrapment.

  • Violation of due process – When proper procedures are not followed in an investigation, the case could be thrown out even if you look guilty.

The right Utah drug defense lawyer will leave no stone unturned looking for ways to defend your freedom and future.

Prescription Drug Charge Attorneys in Utah

Prescription fraud allegations seem intimidating at first. But when you work with one of the best Utah defense lawyers, they can carefully analyze the charges, build an assertive defense, and negotiate for the best possible resolution. With a thorough step-by-step strategy, you can overcome the charges and move on with your life.

Gravis Law is here to help you, along with thousands of other happy clients in Utah. Call us today at 385-380-5927 for the support and defense you need, or click here to schedule a free consultation

Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Fraud Charges

  1. What is considered prescription fraud?

Examples include altering a prescription, forging one, buying or selling fake prescriptions, or lying to a doctor to obtain drugs. Possessing or passing along a fraudulent prescription also qualifies.

  1. Is prescription fraud a felony or misdemeanor in Utah?

Prescription fraud is prosecuted as a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison if convicted.

  1. What if I unknowingly pass along a forged prescription?

If you didn’t know the prescription was forged, then your lack of criminal intent could help get the charges dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor. But you need an attorney to guide you through fighting the allegations.

  1. Can I go to jail for prescription fraud on my record?

Yes, prescription fraud carries possible jail or prison time in Utah. An experienced lawyer is key to negotiating alternative resolutions that avoid incarceration.

  1. What is the average cost of a prescription fraud defense lawyer in Utah?

Costs vary by location, exact charges, and your attorney’s experience, but average around $2,000 – $5,000+ for skilled legal defense against felony prescription fraud.

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