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Health and Safety Code 11153: Prescription Fraud by Doctors Laws in California

HS 11153: Prescription Fraud by Doctors

Legal Definition:(a)  A prescription for a controlled substance shall only be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his or her professional practice. The responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription. Except as authorized by this division, the following are not legal prescriptions: (1) an order purporting to be a prescription which is issued not in the usual course of professional treatment or in legitimate and authorized research; or (2) an order for an addict or habitual user of controlled substances, which is issued not in the course of professional treatment or as part of an authorized narcotic treatment program, for the purpose of providing the user with controlled substances, sufficient to keep him or her comfortable by maintaining customary use.

To secure a conviction under HS 11153, the prosecution is required to present substantial evidence:

  • The prescription of a controlled substance was knowingly authored by you;
  • The prescribed substance was not intended for a legitimate medical purpose;
  • The issuance of the prescription deviated from the customary or professional practice normally observed.

What does this mean?

This section exclusively pertains to medical professionals, thus requiring one to be a medical professional to face guilt or charges under this provision. A medical professional encompasses doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists. Controlled substances under this section encompass substances like oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax, among others. A prerequisite for this section is that the prescribing individual acted knowingly, implying that the medical professional was aware that they were issuing a fraudulent or improper prescription to another individual. As a result, if a person were to pilfer a doctor’s prescription pad to fabricate a prescription, since the doctor did not possess such awareness, they would neither face charges nor be found guilty of this offense.

In relation to legitimate medical purposes, medical professionals are permitted to prescribe medication to their patients as long as they act in good faith. If a prescription for a controlled substance is issued, it is solely done for the purpose of addressing the specific medical needs of the patient. In this manner, the act is executed in good faith and for a legitimate medical purpose, namely to alleviate the patient’s injury or ailment.

The third component concerning the professional practice of medical professionals simply signifies that the prescription is not being written to aid someone’s health for any other motive. In such situations, the person is solely seeking to obtain controlled substances for illicit purposes, rather than treating an ongoing medical condition. For instance, an individual visits a doctor for a cough, but based on a prior arrangement, the doctor agrees to provide a prescription for Xanax, a drug not meant for treating a common cough. The doctor does so due to some agreement or additional payment made by the person to acquire the controlled substances.


A charge under HS 11153 is a wobbler offense, meaning you can be charged with this section as a misdemeanor as a felony offense, depending on your prior criminal history and the specific facts of your case, the amount of times this has occurred, the amount of drug prescribed, and for how long this fraud took place. If you are convicted of this charge as a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to upwards of one year in County Jail. You would also be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted of this charge as a felony offense, you could be sentenced to State Prison for upwards of 16 months, 2 or three years. You would also be subject to paying a fine upwards of $20,000. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody.This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You clearly lose your job and your Professional License if convicted, as it involves a crime using your position as a medical professional, to commit a crime of fraud. If you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since the offense is deportable, in that it is a crime involving drug use and lying/fraud, which is a crime of moral turpitude.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Entrapment

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement, or their agents, deliberately induce or instigate criminal activity through coercive tactics. The pivotal aspect is that the intention to commit the crime originates from the police, rather than the defendant. Examples include sting operations aimed at apprehending doctors suspected of illicitly prescribing medications. Imagine a scenario where you have never entertained the thought of falsifying a prescription for controlled substances. However, a patient manipulates and convinces you, exerting relentless pressure until you succumb to their demands. In such a case, a compelling argument can be made that the police entrapped you into committing a crime that would have remained beyond your contemplation.

Moreover, false accusations present another potential ordeal, wherein an innocent individual falls into legal jeopardy. Such accusations may stem from personal motives, such as prior grudges, envy, or vengeance. False accusations, though often underestimated, occur more frequently than one might expect, leading to unforeseen and dire consequences for the victims involved.

It is crucial to seek guidance from experienced and knowledgeable professionals who possess expertise and authority in navigating the complexities of legal matters. Having trustworthy support in times of distress can provide invaluable insight and assistance in overcoming these challenging situations.

Call Today

Facing charges under HS 11153 represents a pivotal moment, where the outcome can have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate threat of criminal penalties. It’s a scenario that places not just your freedom at risk, but also your meticulously built future, especially for those aspiring to enter the medical profession. A conviction under HS 11153 can severely hinder your dreams, given the stringent standards of medical boards that are unlikely to overlook such offenses.

At Inland Empire Defense, our Ontario-based HS 11153 attorney brings an unparalleled depth of expertise to the defense of those accused of drug and prescription fraud. Our track record speaks volumes of our commitment to safeguarding not only the rights but also the futures of our clients.

Why Inland Empire Defense for HS 11153 Defense?

  • Specialized Legal Expertise: Our attorney’s focused experience in defending against HS 11153 charges ensures you receive informed and effective legal representation tailored to the unique aspects of drug and prescription fraud cases.
  • Proven Track Record: We have a history of successfully defending clients against allegations under HS 11153, demonstrating our ability to navigate these complex legal waters and secure outcomes that protect your career aspirations.
  • Individualized Attention: At Inland Empire Defense, you’re more than just a case number; you’re an individual with dreams and aspirations deserving of a vigorous defense aimed at preserving your future.

Secure Your Future with Inland Empire Defense

The implications of an HS 11153 charge necessitate strategic legal action, aimed not just at contesting the present allegations but at protecting your long-term educational and professional goals. Inland Empire Defense, situated in Ontario, CA, stands ready to offer the specialized legal support necessary to address these allegations effectively.

Contact Inland Empire Defense Today

If you’re facing charges under HS 11153, don’t let the potential consequences jeopardize your future. Reach out to Inland Empire Defense at 909-939-7126 to connect with a defense team that’s not only knowledgeable but deeply committed to defending your rights and securing your aspirations. Our approach is tailored to provide the strong defense you deserve, ensuring you have the support and representation needed to navigate this challenging period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

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Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

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Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

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Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

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We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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