Prescription medications are necessary for many people throughout the nation in order for them to treat symptoms of illness and alleviate pain due to injury, trauma, disease, and more. However, these highly effective drugs can also be very addicting, and many users are at risk of dependency.
If a person becomes addicted to prescription medication, or wants a drug that their doctor will not prescribe them, they may try to forge a prescription so that they can have access to it. Albers & Associates is here to help you understand why this is a crime, what penalties you can expect if you are caught forging prescriptions, and how we can successfully defend your case.
Prescription Medications and Addiction
Doctors prescribe more medication today than ever before, and there are both positive and negative outcomes of this. The advantage is that many of those that suffer from chronic pain, mental health issues, and other ailments that require treatment of some sort are able to get the medications they need to feel better relatively easily.
The downside is that a portion of these drugs are addictive and can cause dependency. Because of this, patients may more easily abuse the medications they are prescribed and may feel as if they need them even once their prescription has run out and their treatment regimen has been finished with the approval or suggestion of their doctor.
How Prescriptions Are Forged
Users of illegal drugs have found that some prescription painkillers are more readily available to them and easier to acquire than other narcotics and opioids (e.g. heroin). This crime can be as easy as stealing a prescription pad from a doctor’s office during a visit, as prescriptions are most often handwritten and don’t require much information to be documented other than the patient’s name, doctor’s signature, and medication specifics like drug name, quantity, and potency.
Penalties & Cracking Down on Prescription Forgery
“False Prescription” or medication prescription forgery carries a felony conviction in Maryland and is often punishable by jail time. Doctors and pharmacists are becoming more and more aware of the telltale signs of prescription fraud, and therefore are getting better with detecting and reporting the forgery when it occurs.
In Maryland, for certain types of medications, medical insurance companies and the pharmacists who receive the prescriptions are required to contact the physician’s office or prescribing doctor personally in order to confirm authorization before filling the RX. Efforts to curb false prescriptions are considered successful but not perfect.
Reliable Legal Defense for Drug & Felony Cases in Maryland
Ross W. Albers is a drug and criminal defense attorney with many years of experience in his industry.
If you’ve been caught or charged with forging a prescription, reach out to us today for a free legal consultation. We are here to help you better understand the crime itself, but more importantly to ensure fair treatment when your case goes to trial and penalties are assessed.