Deceptive Marketing Practices
Companies and other legal entities that market substance abuse services must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in accordance with the Florida Telemarketing Act as provided in S. 501.605, F.S. These entities provide detoxification services, treatment services, and recovery support.
When marketing substance abuse services, these legal entities are subject to discipline and civil and criminal penalties for fraudulent or deceptive marketing practices. The crimes for deceptive marketing practices can be found in Florida Statute Section 397.55.
Under Section 817.0345, F.S., substance abuse services are prohibited from either making materially false or misleading statements or providing false or misleading information about the identity, products, goods, services, or geographical location of a licensed service provider under ch. 397, F.S. when the act is done:
- knowingly and willfully;
- in marketing, advertising materials, or other media or on a website; and
- with the intent to induce another person to seek treatment with that licensed service provider.
Attorney for Deceptive Marketing Crimes in Florida
If you are accused of marketing substance abuse services in violation of the prohibitions found in Florida Statute Section 397.55 that prohibit making false or misleading statements. then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.
Our criminal defense attorneys represent operators of recovery residence facilities and service providers. We understand the serious criminal penalties that can be imposed by recovery facilities that are accused of illegal patient brokering.
Penalties for Deceptive Marketing Crimes by Substance Abuse Services
The penalties for deceptive marketing practices under Section 817.0345, F.S., apply to any operator of a recovery residence or service provider who provides any form of advertising or marketing.
Section 817.0345, F.S., prohibits these entities from:
- making false or misleading statements, including false information on its website;
- engaging in patient brokering; or
- entering into a contract with a marketing provider who agrees to generate referrals to the recovery residence unless the service provider or operator of the recovery residence discloses instructions that allow the prospective patient to easily; or
- accessing lists of licensed service providers and recovery residences on the department website.
During these investigations, law enforcement officers will determine whether the marketing provider represents specific licensed service providers or recovery residences that pay a fee to the marketing provider, and the identity of such service providers or recovery residences.
This article was last updated on Friday, December 6, 2019.