Honorable Pete Gallego, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB158 by Williams (Relating to the fraudulent obtaining of a controlled substance from a practitioner; providing a penalty.), As Engrossed
The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code by making it a criminal offense to obtain or attempt to obtain from a practitioner a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, subterfuge, or concealment of a material fact. Under the provisions of the bill, an offense involving a controlled substance listed in Schedule V would be punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, a substance listed in Schedule III or IV would be punishable as a third degree felony, and a substance listed in Schedule I or II would be punishable as a second degree felony. Under current statute, a knowingly fraud offense involving a controlled substance listed in Schedule V is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, a substance listed in Schedule III or IV would is punishable as a third degree felony, and a substance listed in Schedule I or II would is punishable as a second degree felony.
A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in a county jail for any term of not more than one year, or, in addition to confinement, a fine not to exceed $4,000. A felony of the third degree is punishable by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years, or, in addition to confinement, a fine not to exceed $10,000. A felony of the second degree is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 20 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Expanding the list of behaviors for which a penalty is applied for any criminal offense is expected to result in increased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to longer terms of probation, or, longer terms of confinement in county jails or prison. In fiscal year 2010, approximately 234 individuals were arrested for knowingly fraud offenses involving a controlled substance listed in Schedule V, Schedule III or IV, and Schedule I or II. Of those arrested in fiscal year 2010, less than 5 were sentenced to a term of incarceration in prison, approximately 51 were placed under felony community supervision, and less than 20 were placed under misdemeanor community supervision. For this analysis it is assumed the number of offenders convicted under this statute would not result in a significant impact on the programs and workload of state corrections agencies or on the demand for resources and services of those agencies.
JOB, LM, GG, ADM