Perhaps you’re one of many people who worked hard for years to earn a license to practice medicine in Kentucky. Maybe you’re one of the state’s law enforcement officers. Or, perhaps, you’re a private citizen who works in the business sector. In any case, you may be at risk for legal problems if you use or dispense prescription drugs.
Many prescription medications are opioids. Current data shows that there have been an exorbitant number of overdoses and deaths related to use of such drugs in this state and throughout the country. If you become subject in an investigation and are accused of illegally distributing prescription drugs or acting with negligence in writing prescriptions to people who do not need medication, you may wind up facing criminal charges in court.
Prescription drug crimes involving physicians
If you are licensed to write prescriptions for opioids in Kentucky, you’ll want to be aware that many of your colleagues in this state and throughout the country have been arrested for suspected drug crimes. Data shows that nearly 30% of doctors accused of such crimes are age 65 and older. Also, if you have a private practice, the likelihood of facing criminal charges regarding prescription drugs is higher than it is for doctors who do not have a private practice.
Male physicians have faced criminal charges regarding prescription drugs more often than females. However, statistics also show that there are simply more male doctors than female doctors, so it is not surprising that there are more males charged with such crimes than females in the physician industry.
It is unlawful to share prescription medications with other people
If you’re a patient, not a doctor, you can still be accused of prescription drug crimes if you share medication that was specifically prescribed to you by a licensed physician with another person. Only the person whose name is on the prescription may take the drug inside the container.
If you’re a professional, your license may be at risk
Facing prescription drug crime charges in Kentucky can place your professional license at risk, whether you’re a commercial truck operator, police officer, teacher, coach, psychologist or doctor. Being charged with a crime and convicted of a crime are two separate issues, however. You’re guaranteed an opportunity to refute criminal charges in court, and there may also be steps you can take to defend your license before the administrative board.
It’s always best to seek guidance and support before heading to legal proceedings or to stand before a licensing board regarding suspected criminal activity. The plea you enter in court or things you say to a panel of people who have the power to suspend or revoke your license may have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome of your case, which is why you want to be as well-informed and prepared as possible.