What are the Penalties for Forging a Drug Prescription?

Prescriptions are documents certified by a doctor’s license recommending that drugs be dispensed to treat a particular medical condition. Legitimate prescriptions are backed by a doctor’s extensive education and continuing accreditation. Misuse of prescriptions allows potentially dangerous drugs to be dispensed to people who may not actually need them.

Issuing, altering, or using a forged prescription is illegal, as is possessing drugs obtained through illegal means.

In order for a prescription to be considered valid under federal law, it must have:

  • The date of issuance
  • The name and strength of the drug
  • The dosage of the medication
  • The quantity of pills prescribed
  • Usage directions
  • Number of refills available (if any)
  • Signature of authorized doctor

Controlled substances are controlled for a reason. Forging a prescription is a crime because it is ultimately a form of illegal drug dealing.

Possible Defenses for Prescription Forgery

Under Georgia Code § 16-13-78, “Obtaining or attempting to obtain dangerous drugs by fraud, forgery, or concealment of material fact” is a misdemeanor charge that can result in up to one year in jail. Unauthorized distribution is an even more serious offense. According to Georgia Code § 16-13-43, forging a prescription is a felony crime punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

There are some possible legal defenses against a charge of prescription forgery. These include:

  • You didn’t know the prescription was forged
  • You possessed an illegal prescription, but made no attempt to use it
  • You did not know the drugs you had were obtained through the use of an altered or forged prescription
  • The drugs were discovered in an unlawful search and seizure

Georgia law is strict in this matter, and federal law even more so. If you are being accused of drug prescription forgery or for using or possessing illegally-obtained narcotics, don’t waste another minute in securing representation. An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. can review your case and inform you of your legal options. We take the time to examine all aspects of your case so that we can offer the most personalized representation possible.

Since 1985, we have advocated on behalf of thousands of clients in even the most challenging cases. Our aggressive and intelligent approach to criminal law has allowed us to secure excellent results for our clients time and time again. You can be confident that when you turn to our firm for assistance, your case will be in good hands.

To learn more about how The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. can assist with your case, please call us today.