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What are the penalties for forged prescriptions?

The rising use and abuse of prescription drugs has fuelled a serious problem in the country. The number of deaths caused by drug overdoses has also skyrocketed in the same period. Many states, including Ohio, have responded by creating laws that curb prescription drug abuse and severely penalize those who forge drug documents.

Defined as illegal processing of drug documents, it is now a crime to possess, make, sell or utter a drug document, including prescriptions and uncompleted printed prescription blanks utilized for writing prescriptions. It is also a crime to knowingly make a false statement about a drug order or prescription. Additionally, someone who knowingly makes or affixes a false or forged label to a packet containing drugs could also face drug charges.

Someone charged with these crimes could be facing felony drug charges. The category of the felony depends on the type of drug and the form of the offense one is accused of committing. A person could be charged with fifth degree, which carries a possible sentence of six to 12 months and a maximum fine of $25,000 or with fourth degree, with a sentence of six to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000. The consequences do not stop there though-courts can suspend or revoke driving licenses and also report the conviction to the medical licensing board. This means that without a driving license, commercial vehicle drivers would lose their job, as would medical professionals with illegal drug prescriptions.

To prove the alleged drug crime though, the prosecution has to prove every element of it, including intention and knowledge of the actions one is being charged with. For example, if someone did not know they were in possession of a falsified prescription, they may have defenses available to them. an experienced defense attorney may be able to come up with an aggressive defense strategy to defend one's rights.

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