Forging or altering a prescription is a serious offense that is treated like any other drug offense. The government takes prescription drug fraud very seriously and the consequences can be serious for anyone involved. Anyone can be charged with prescription drug fraud, including: doctors, doctors assistants, nurses and private individuals. These crimes are difficult for law enforcement to investigate because there are many privacy laws surrounding medical situations.
Situations In Which A Prescription Can Be Altered or Forged
Altering a current prescription by hand
Altering a current prescription by use of a computer
Forging a prescription
Impersonating a medical professional by forging the signature of a medical professional in order to obtain unauthorized prescription drugs
Calling in a prescription, impersonating a medical professional, in order to receive unauthorized prescription drugs
A medical professional prescribing a controlled substance for no apparent medical reason
In many cases, prescription drug fraud is committed by patients that steal the prescription drug pad of a medical professional for their personal use. After obtaining the pad, the patient then forges the prescription and signature of said medical professional.
Another common occurrence is a patient altering a current prescription by altering the dosage so that they receive a higher dosage than originally prescribed, or altering the quantity of the medication so that they receive a larger quantity of said medication.
Though the above are common cases of forging and altering of prescriptions by private individuals, medical professionals are not immune from committing such crimes. These charges are serious for medical professionals because not only can they lose their medical licenses, but they also will be charged with fines and possible jail time.
Common Illegally Obtained Drugs
Many of the substances that are commonly obtained illegally are addictive in nature, which explains why prescriptions are often forged or altered.
Though above we have mentioned how forging or altering a prescription can affect medical professionals, the most common offenders are private individuals. Like the medical professionals, private individuals can severely affect their lives by committing such an offense. If the situation is the first offense of a private individual, in the state of Texas it is considered to be a Class B misdemeanor. If the event has happened several times with the same individual, it will be considered a Class A misdemeanor. The individual may be charged with fines, jail time or time in a rehabilitation center depending on the severity of the crime.
Defense Against Forging and Altering Prescription Drugs
A lawsuit involving such charges can be difficult for both parties. The prosecutors must prove that the prescription was altered or forged by the individual. The severity of the charges depend on what type of drug was illegally “prescribed”. Therefore, it is best to know what your exact charges are and what the consequences are for the drug that was illegally prescribed.
If you have committed such a crime it may be possible to get the judge to waive the fines and/or jail time by offering probation or time in a rehabilitation center. This can be achieved if the judge is lenient and you use an experienced and qualified attorney.
If you or anyone that you know has been charged with prescription drug fraud, contact The Law Offices of Gregory R. Terra. The Terra Law firm is experienced in prescription drug fraud cases and can offer legal counsel, so contact us today to schedule a consultation!