Drug prescription forgery is a growing problem in Indiana and throughout the United States. In Indiana, defendants will find themselves facing severe consequences if found guilty of this crime. If you have been charged with drug prescription forgery in Indiana, it is essential to contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to know.
What is drug prescription forgery?
Only qualified, licensed medical doctors are legally entitled to issue prescriptions to treat a specific medical condition. Drug prescription forgery generally occurs when a person illegally uses a prescription to obtain controlled substances or for personal gain. In legal terms, a forgery offense involves the following elements:
Making, altering, using, duplicating, or possessing a false writing. Drug prescription forgery is not only illegitimately signing a prescription, but falsely altering it or using a fake prescription. You will fulfill this first element if you:
- write a prescription on a blank prescription pad
- alter a legitimate prescription
- possess a prescription that someone else has falsified
- duplicating/photocopying a valid prescription
- use a falsified prescription.
With intent to defraud. The second element of forgery is having the intent to defraud someone, whether a person or an entity. The intent requirement prevents people who unknowingly possess or use a fraudulent prescription from being guilty of forgery. Note that it isn’t necessary to have completed the fraudulent action to fulfill this element.
What is the penalty for drug prescription forgery in Indiana?
A prescription drug forgery is a Level 6 Felony in Indiana for a first offense; a Level 5 Felony for a repeat offense. If charged, you may face up to eight years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You will also carry the stigma of having engaged in fraudulent and deceitful behavior. This stigma can negatively impact your life in a range of ways, from job searches to apartment applications.
If you have been accused of drug prescription forgery in Indiana, call the qualified criminal defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates to learn how to best protect your rights and clear your name. We are ready to fight for you. Call us today.