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Pennsylvania doctor's illegal prescription trial to begin

The opening statements for the trial of a Pennsylvania doctor who was accused of writing illegal prescriptions were scheduled to start on Sept. 22. The 45-year-old doctor was also facing charges for allegedly smuggling drugs into a county jail.

The doctor was initially sent to prison for 10 weekends in 2011 after she was determined to be in contempt of court during her child custody hearings. The hearings resulted from accusations that the doctor's 16-year-old daughter had been provided Xanax and overdosed on them. The girl's father sought an emergency custody order following the alleged overdose.

She was accused of attempting to sneak in Vicodin and other painkillers into jail. Additionally, she was accused of providing prescriptions not only for individuals who were reportedly addicted to the painkillers but to herself as well. She was allegedly linked to the overdose death of a 52-year-old patient. The doctor's attorney has denied the charges.

The state of Pennsylvania takes the accusation of drug crimes very seriously. As such, anyone who is facing drug-related charges is also likely facing serious consequences like a potential prison sentence, heavy fines and a loss of professional licenses. A criminal defense attorney may have an ability to fight the charges depending on the situation. For example, if the chain of custody for the evidence is broken or it appears as if the evidence has been tampered with, the attorney may potentially argue that the evidence should be thrown out. Further, inconsistencies in police testimony in the prosecution's statements could result in a less severe sentence.

Source: ABC 27, "Pennsylvania doctor's jail drug-smuggling case set to begin", 09/22/2015

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