Possession of an Altered Prescription
The fastest growing types of drug crimes in Utah involve the illegal use of prescription medications. Law enforcement officers, pharmacists, and doctors often disagree about how crimes related to prescription drug abuse should be prosecuted.
Possession of an Altered or Forged Prescription found in 58-37-8-(2)(a)(iii) prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally possessing an altered or forged prescription or written order for a controlled substance. The crime is prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense, a Class A misdemeanor for a second offense, and a third-degree felony for a third offense.
Crimes related to a forged or altered prescription can involve procuring or attempting to procure a drug illegally by:
- altering a prescription;
- forging a doctor's name on a prescription;
- changing the number of pills on an otherwise valid prescription;
- filling another person's prescription by pretending to be that person;
- calling a pharmacy pretending to be a doctor's office or otherwise impersonating a member of the medical community to obtain a prescription;
- using other forms of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge;
- by concealment of a material fact;
- stealing blank prescription forms from a doctor’s office;
- buying prescription drugs online;
- by other forms of theft; or
- by use of a false statement in any prescription, chart, order, or report.
The most commonly abused prescription pills include Oxycontin, Lortab, Vicodin, and Percocet. Related offenses include obtaining prescriptions from several different doctors (often called "doctor shopping").
Attorneys for Possession of a Forged Prescription
If you were charged with Possession of an Altered or Forged Prescription or Written Order under 58-37-8-(2)(a)(iii), a Class B misdemeanor, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP in Salt Lake City, Utah.
We represent clients on a variety of drug offenses including presenting an altered or forged prescription, obtaining a prescription under false pretenses, or doctor shopping. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Call (801) 532-5297 today.
Elements of Possession of an Altered or Forged Prescription
The crime of Possession of an Altered or Forged Prescription or Written Order requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt of the following elements:
- the defendant intentionally and knowingly possessed an altered or forged prescription or written order; and
- knowing the altered or forged prescription or written order is for a controlled substance.
Dispensing a forged or altered prescription is also illegal.
This article was last updated on Thursday, March 8, 2018.