Newark NJ Defense Attorneys for Obtaining CDS by Fraud Charges

One of the biggest drug issues confronting us today involves prescription medication and the criminal activity, including fraud, undertaken to obtain controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”). The CDS offense set forth at N.J.S. 2C:35-13, titled “Obtained by Fraud”, is intended to penalize those who attempt or acquire drugs without legal authority.  This charge is a separate offense from prescription forgery and theft of prescription drugs, two violations that are also often involved in these types of cases.  If you or a loved one was arrested for filling an altered prescription or for engaging in some other conduct to obtain CDS by fraud, we can assist you. Our former prosecutors have been defending 2C:35-13 charges for several decades and know how to achieve the best result possible in a given case. Call us for a free consultation at 973-710-1520.

What Does “Obtaining CDS by Fraud” Mean Under New Jersey Law?

In order to understand this offense, the best first step is to read the law to which you have been charge. In this regard, N.J.S. 2C:35-13 provides that:

It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a forged or fraudulent certificate of destruction required pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-21. A violation of this section shall be a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $50,000.00 may be imposed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude or limit a prosecution for theft as defined in chapter 20 of this title.

There are essentially three (3) elements to proving someone guilty of obtaining CDS by fraud. First, the accused must have attempted or obtained possession of CDS. Second, he or she must have utilized misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge to accomplish the acquisition. Third, the conduct must have been knowing. The term misrepresentation means that the actor provided information that was false or incorrect. A person commits deception when they create, reinforce, or allow a false impression to continue, or engage in acts to prevent an individual from acquiring accurate information so that such a false belief can continue.  Forgery contemplates the “alteration, change, creation, completion, execution, authentication, issuance or transfer” of a writing without authority to do so.

Common Scenarios for Prescription Fraud

There are obviously fact patterns that reoccur more often than others.  The following is a list of the more common allegations encountered in prescription fraud cases:

• Forging Prescriptions. Sophisticated or non-sophisticated duplication of prescription blanks or tablets.
• Altered Prescriptions. This may be the most frequent violation and arises when the quantity, type of drug, patient name, refill amount or dosage is changed without authorization;
• Calling In Unauthorized Prescription Order;
• Impersonation of a patient or fictitious person to obtain medication (e.g. Stolen Blank);
• Impersonating a doctor or medical provider to obtain CDS.

This list is not intended to set forth all of the possible scenarios for this charge but certainly represents those which crop up most often.

Penalties That Apply Under N.J.S. 2C:35-13

A violation of this law constitutes a third degree crime. A state prison term of up to five (5) years may be applies. In addition, while the fine for a third degree crime is normally capped at $15,000 for non drug related offenses and $35,000 for CDS offenses, an individual convicted for third degree obtaining cds by fraud faces a fine of up to $50,000. Many of these consequences can be avoided if an individual is eligible for and granted entry into the Pretrial Intervention Program.

If you have been charged with a prescription drug offense involving any variety of fraud or misrepresentation under N.J.A.A. 2C:35-13, an attorney from our firm is available for consultation 24/7. Give us a call.