Addictive medications such as opioids can make people do the unthinkable to get their hands on more. The FDA even issued an alert to veterinarians because people are consuming their pet opioid medications. Misuse of these drugs is rampant. In 2021, nearly 107,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. You may have been seeking an opioid refill with a fake prescription for a medication that you once had a legitimate prescription for after surgery. This trend has become a serious public health concern. Whatever your reasons, the next steps you take in defending your case will play a vital role in the outcome.
Forging prescriptions can involve a physician illegally altering an existing prescription or a patient using a prescription notepad to write a prescription and then forging a doctor’s signature. Sometimes people will simply use technology to create something that looks like a valid prescription. Even though pharmacists are trained to be on the lookout for unusual handwriting, strange photocopies, and dates that do not match, fake prescriptions can and do get by the system.
To reduce possible addictions in light of the existing problem with fraudulent prescriptions, the CDC recently released its guidelines for prescription painkillers or opioids. The guidelines recommend that clinicians try to use alternative ways to help patients deal with their chronic pain and consider opioids only if the possible benefits outweigh the risks.
Penalties for Prescription Fraud in Illinois
People may have both good and bad intentions for getting involved in prescription fraud. From satiating their addiction to helping loved ones who are in pain. In the state of Illinois, if you wrote a fake prescription or altered one you may face up to $100,000 in fines and one to three years behind bars if it is your first offense. You could be looking at five years in prison and double the fines if it is your second offense.
Keep in mind that you could also face additional charges relating to possession charges. If you intended to distribute the drugs, you could also face distribution charges which adds another layer of complexity to your legal consequences. A conviction will have future repercussions as you may have to face life as a convicted felon. If you are a licensed professional in the medical field, you will likely lose your license.
Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are accused of forging a prescription, it is vital that you take decisive action. At [[title]], we have the knowledge and experience to craft a legal defense. For a free consultation with an experienced Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney call [[phone]].