Brief Overview of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud in NC

As in all states, it is illegal in North Carolina to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.  North Carolina’s General Statutes (NCGS 90-108(a)(10) defines the act, thusly:

“To acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge;”

If the person has done this intentionally, NCGS 90-108(b) defines the act as a Class I felony.

In addition, it is a Class I felony in North Carolina to “doctor shop,” which is the practice of going from doctor to doctor and providing false information in order to get a legal prescription.  Each act may be an individual felony.

As Class I felonies, these cases are the lowest level of felony in North Carolina, which means that for the first-time offender with a prior record level of 1, the person cannot be sentenced to prison.  At most, the person may be placed on supervised probation.

It is possible, depending on the facts of the case and the background of the defendant, that the District Attorney offers either a misdemeanor plea or a drug diversion program, whereby the individual completes community service, participates in a Substance Abuse Program, and remains out of trouble.

If a drug diversion program is offered, the person may qualify for a dismissal of the charges after a year’s time, and, even, an expungement of the charges.

Of course, such an offer is not guaranteed. And where the person has engaged in multiple acts of doctor shopping, or has had prior convictions, the person may be prevented from being granted a diversion.

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Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.