Prescription forgery is one way that many who have an addiction to certain controlled substances may attempt to obtain them. It’s important to understand what penalties you may be facing if you are charged with prescription forgery or other drug crimes.
Under Illinois law 720 ILCS 570/314.5, it is illegal for anyone to “knowingly or intentionally to fraudulently obtain or fraudulently seek to obtain any controlled substance or prescription for a controlled substance” from a prescriber, dispenser or pharmacy.
Prescription forgery is a form of healthcare fraud. It can include:
- Making changes to documents
- Issuing or delivering forged documents
- Possessing forged documents
- Using another person’s signature
- Using another person’s signature device, like a PIN number for an electronic signature
In Illinois, the penalties for prescription fraud depends on whether or not it is a repeat action. At each offense, prescription fraud is a felony, which is a crime more serious than a misdemeanor. Here are the consequences of this type of offense:
- First offense: up to $100,000 fine and/or between 1 and 3 years in prison
- Second offense: up to $200,000 fine and/or between 2 to 5 years in prison
It is possible that a charge of prescription fraud could also be with other charges, compounding the penalties. Most significantly, it may be charged in conjunction with possession or sale of illegal drugs.
Both possession and sale may be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the charge, amount of substances and type of drug. They can add years in prison and additional thousands in fines.
If you face accusations of prescription forgery to obtain drugs or other types of drug crimes, it’s time to talk with a lawyer. Be sure to protect yourself by working with legal counsel that knows how to fight for your rights.