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Lee County woman arrested on prescription fraud charges

Drug arrests do not always involve street drugs like marijuana or cocaine. Drug charges arising out of prescription drug abuse can have consequences for the accused that are just as serious as those involving street drugs. A Lee County woman may find this out the hard way as she faces accusations that she fraudulently obtained over 10,000 oxycodone tablets over a period of 17 months.

The woman first came to authorities' attention following a tragic accident on the Sanibel Causeway. A Connecticut woman was riding her bike on the causeway when the Florida woman accidentally struck her with her pickup truck, throwing her over the guardrail and into San Carlos Bay. She died at the scene of the crash.

Authorities initially did not charge the Florida woman in connection with the crash. They did perform a blood test on the woman at the scene of the accident, which turned up prescription drugs in her system. The amount was not enough to affect her driving ability, however.

Although she wasn't charged immediately, the accident investigation had apparently led authorities to believe the woman was obtaining prescription drugs illegally. She was eventually charged with 12 counts of prescription fraud and withholding information from a medical practitioner. Authorities claim the woman was doctor shopping in order to obtain the drugs.

In a case like this a defense attorney will likely review the police investigation which followed the accident. The goal would be to determine if there is a basis to challenge any search and seizure that led to the arrest. If a search warrant was obtained, defense counsel may be able to challenge whether the police had probable cause for the warrant. At the same time, as the parties are getting ready for trial, plea negotiations with the prosecution may be taking place. If the prosecution case looks strong, the defendant may want to push for a drug diversion or rehab program as an alternative to prison time.

Source:, "Woman involved in fatal accident charged with obtaining prescription drugs illegally," Izaskun E. Larrañeta, Dec. 13, 2012

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