When it comes to the issue of penal law, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to the language of the law and not get at the core meaning underneath it. This is because penal law isn’t necessarily written for the average person, but rather for lawyers who have years of experience at figuring out what exactly the law means. But the thing is, if you break down the law into easy to understand chunks of information, it becomes that much simpler to get at the overall meaning. In today’s post we’re going to center in on the charge of forging or altering a prescription. To do this we’ll look at definitions, punishments, and possible legal defenses you can use. Let’s get started with definitions.
Forging or Altering a Prescription
This law basically makes it a crime to either forge or alter a prescription for narcotic drugs, to use a prescription that has a forged signature to either obtain or try to obtain narcotic drugs, or to possess narcotic drugs that were gotten with a forged prescription. This is considered a more serious crime, and can include things like morphine, opium, demerol, codeine, or even something like fentanyl. The thing about this charge is that it’s considered to be what’s known as a wobbler, which is basically a charge that can be tried either as a misdemeanor or as a felony. When it’s being charged as a misdemeanor, you can expect to face a sentence between six months and a year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to a thousand dollars. It’s a little different when it’s treated as a felony charge, and can then be punished with a sentence of sixteen months, or two or three years in state prison. Not all laws on the penal code are wobblers, which can definitely be a benefit to you, especially if you end up being charged with the misdemeanor version of the crime. With that said, there are even ways to defend against the felony version of the crime, so in the next section we’re going to go ahead and take a look at some of those potential defenses and see what your options are for the future.
Defenses for Forging or Altering a Prescription
You do have some legal defenses at your disposal when it comes to the charge of Forging or Altering a Prescription. While these won’t be applicable in every situation, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at some of these defenses and figure out if any of them apply to you. Among these defenses, you can claim that your prescription was actually legitimate and wasn’t forged or altered, that you didn’t know the prescription in question was actually altered or forged, that you did in fact have that forged prescription, but you didn’t actually try to use it, that you didn’t know the drugs were there, or even that you didn’t know the drugs were gotten through an altered or forged prescription.
As you can see, it’s actually pretty simple to wrap your head around the law that’s set up in the penal code once you get past some of the more complicated legalese and instead focus on the overall meaning of the law. So if you’re going through legal trouble and it seems like some of those legal defenses apply to you, it’s important that you get the right counsel for the job in order to get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. To that effect, you can turn to us if you need some help.