Forging or Altering a Prescription

prescription pill altercation

When most people hear the term “drug charges” they think of illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine. What might not come to mind is the significant increase of prescription drug abuse in throughout the country. Many people mistakenly believe these drugs are “safe” because they can be prescribed by a doctor; however, that is far from the truth.

We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic in which thousands of people have lost their lives by overdosing on prescription medications, primarily opioids or painkillers. As a result, the State of Florida now has an online database of prescription drugs that are monitored, where doctors report them within 15 days of writing a prescription.

Some of the drugs that are now monitored include, but are not limited to:

  • Morphine, an opioid
  • Percocet
  • Oxycontin
  • Adderall and other amphetamines

Getting More than the Prescribed Dose of a Drug

Many individuals resort to forging a prescription, or altering a legal one from a licensed physician to get more than they need. Some obtain blank prescription pads and use them to create forged prescriptions. Others may call in prescriptions to a pharmacy, pretending to be a physician. Visiting a number of physicians for the purpose of obtaining additional prescriptions for one drug is commonly called “doctor shopping,” which is also illegal.

prescription drugs

Penalties for Forging a Prescription

According to Florida Statute § 893.13(7)(a), having or obtaining a controlled substance is a felony. A conviction of this third-degree felony can mean five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.

Florida law also states that it’s illegal to be in possession of these drugs without a valid prescription. Forging a prescription, altering a legal one (to increase the amount of medication prescribed), or possessing a blank prescription slip or pad are all actions that can lead to a first-degree misdemeanor charge for a first offense. A conviction might result in incarceration for up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Physicians and other medical professionals who assist individuals trying to obtain illegal prescriptions can also be charged with prescription drug fraud. This includes writing a prescription that’s not medically necessary, dealing “out the back door,” writing for a “fictitious individual,” or for monetary gain.

Even if someone is unsuccessful in illegally obtaining prescriptions, they can be charged with prescription drug fraud.

Proving Fraud

If you face charges for forging a prescription, the prosecutor must show that you obtained or attempted to obtain a controlled substance using some form of fraud to convict you. A criminal defense lawyer with years of experiencing defending charges of fraud will be instrumental in protecting your rights.

If you are arrested or under investigation for prescription drug fraud or “doctor shopping” in Florida, speak to an attorney before disclosing any information to law enforcement. Anything you say really can, and will, be used against you. You’ll increase your chances of avoiding arrest and/or prosecution if you speak to an attorney first.

Prescription Drug Fraud Defense

The Umansky Law Firm is experienced in a wide range of criminal charges. Our attorneys are former prosecutors who know exactly how to craft a strong defense, fight back and aggressively defend you and protect your rights as a defendant.

Click here to start your free case review or you can speak directly with one of our Orlando prescription fraud defense attorneys by calling (407) 228-3838 today.

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