It is a felony offense to engage in prescription drug fraud, such as forging a physician’s prescription in order to obtain opiate-based painkillers or other medications. This crime is prosecuted aggressively in Fairfax and Northern Virginia as one way to combat the increasingly prevalent problem of prescription drug abuse. If you have been charged with forging a drug prescription or a related offense, it is imperative that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you develop a strong defense strategy to the charges you face.
Forging a Drug Prescription Offense and Penalties
Virginia Code § 18.2-258.1 makes it a crime to forge a drug prescription and to engage in a wide range of activities in an effort to obtain drugs through deceit, forgery, or fraud. This law makes it illegal to:
- Forge, use, or attempt to use a fake prescription
- Use a false name or ID to get or fill a prescription
- Use a fake prescription label
- Steal prescription drugs or prescriptions from an employer
- Give false information about one’s health to a physician to obtain a prescription
Forging a prescription and other related-crimes under Virginia Code § 18.2-258.1 are charged as a Class 6 felony. If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. In addition, your license would be suspended for six months. However, there are also potential outcomes to avoid a felony conviction for first time offense prescription fraud charges. It is important to speak to an attorney determine the best outcome in your case.
Penalties You May Face for Aiding in Illegally Obtaining Prescription Drugs
It is also a crime to aid someone in illegally obtaining prescription drugs under Virginia Code § 18.2-258.2. In order to be charged with this crime, a person must be paid for the assistance and know that the prescription drugs were being illegally obtained. The payment can take many forms, such as money, favors, or goods. A first offense is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, but a subsequent conviction would be Class 6 felony.
Have you been charged with forging a drug prescription or a related crime in Fairfax or Northern Virginia? Our experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges so that they are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. If this is your first offense, we may be able to assist you with other options to reduce your felony charge to a misdemeanor offense. To learn more about your options and how we can assist you, start a live chat to schedule a free consultation today.