Forged prescriptions in Oklahoma have increased along with the rising demand for drugs such as oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). These days, prescription opioids comprise a large component of the illegal drug market. Issuing forged prescriptions is illegal in Tahlequah. Read on to learn more.
How Forged Prescriptions In Oklahoma Usually Happen
This crime can occur in a number of different ways, but the most common has been to steal a prescription pad and forge a doctor’s signature.
In order to fight forged prescriptions, Oklahoma enacted a law in 2020. This law requires physicians and other practitioners to use electronic means to prescribe all medications that are commonly forged rather than issuing written, oral, or faxed prescriptions.
However, you can still be prosecuted for giving inaccurate information to a health care practitioner.
Obtaining Controlled Dangerous Substances By Forgery Defined
Oklahoma classifies all controlled dangerous drugs, including prescription medications, according to “Schedules” based upon the level of addictive risk weighed against their medical benefit. More addictive medications such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Adderall are classified as Schedule I and II substances. Okla. Stat. tit. 63 §§ 2-204 et seq.
In order to obtain these medications, you must have a valid prescription. If you are in possession without a valid prescription, you have broken the law.
Specifically, it is unlawful to obtain or attempt to obtain any controlled dangerous substance (drug) by:
- fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
- forging, altering, adding, or changing any information on a prescription or any written order;
- concealing a material fact;
- using a false name or giving of a false address; or
- knowingly failing to disclose the receipt of a controlled dangerous substance or a prescription for a controlled dangerous substance of the same or similar therapeutic use from another practitioner within the previous 30 days.
Okla. Stat. tit. 63 § 2-407
Penalties For Forged Prescriptions In Oklahoma
The crime is a felony in Tahlequah. Also, Oklahoma law provides for escalating punishments with subsequent convictions.
A first conviction of prescription forgery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
For a second or subsequent conviction, prison time can run from 4 to 20 years. This may be in addition to a fine of up to $20,000.
Repeat offenders are not eligible for a suspended or deferred sentence or probation.
Finally, all people convicted of prescription forgery must pay a special trauma care fee of $100.
Defenses To a Forged Prescription Charge
There are defenses that may be available to you depending on your circumstances. Here are some of the more common defenses that you may want to discuss with your Tahlequah attorney.
Lack of Intent: This crime is grounded in fraud and misrepresentation, which requires deliberate intent. You must have knowingly engaged in the action giving rise to the forgery charge. If a genuine mistake is made, or an unknowing mistake, you may have a defense.
Unknowing Possession: Likewise, you may be carrying a prescription for a friend without knowing that your friend forged the prescription. This can be a viable defense.
Invalid Search or Seizure: Unless you consent to a search, the police must have probable cause or a valid search warrant to conduct a search. If they conduct a search without consent and without probable cause or a valid search warrant, any product of the search may not be entered into evidence.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Attorney
Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense attorney to discuss your available legal options if you’ve been charged with having forged prescriptions in Oklahoma.
For a free consultation, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll-free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.