Mahtomedi woman facing prescription drug theft charges

Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that 52 million people have used prescription drugs, without a medical reason to do so, at some point during their life. In 2010 5.1 million people abused pain killers, 2.2 million people used tranquilizers and 1.1 million people used stimulants. Sadly, when these people are arrested and charged with drug crimes, they are incarcerated instead of receiving the treatment that they need.

Recently, theft charges were filed against a woman from Mahtomedi who allegedly took a prescription drug called hydromorphone from the hospital she worked at. In 2012, the hospital noticed that over a month’s period of time, there were 29 reported discrepancies concerning the drug. When they opened an investigation, the woman’s name kept popping up.

The investigation showed that the woman’s electronic swipe card was used to access the emergency department. There it is alleged that the woman took names of patients who were discharged from the hospital. She then used those names, along with a fingerprint scan, to receive the drug from a dispensing machine. However, when investigators checked, it was determined that the drug had never been prescribed to the patients who were listed. It was also discovered that the woman’s card and fingerprint were used on days that she was not scheduled to work.

Hydromorphone is related to morphine and is considered to be habit-forming. The woman is facing two counts of theft and it is uncertain whether she is still working at the hospital. Allegedly she admitted to hospital officials that she had taken the drug and used it on herself. It is not clear if she used the drug due to an addiction or how much of the drug was taken.

If the woman is convicted of the charges against her relating to the prescription drug thefts, a judge just might recognize that she needs help and sentence her to a drug treatment program. When people have committed a drug related offense, they may be able to go through one of Minnesota’s drug courts. These courts focus on problem-solving approaches rather than punishment and are designed to help people break free of their addiction.

A Minnesota study conducted in 2012 showed the effectiveness of drug courts. The study showed that people who participated in a drug court program were less likely to be rearrested with a new drug offense than people who went through the traditional criminal system. Furthermore, the state saved money on incarceration costs and drug courts allowed people to become productive citizens, gaining employment, improving their home life and making good choices. For these people, drug court gave them a chance to change their lives.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.