California Health and Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC: Counterfeit Prescription Blank
Prescription drugs addiction is a serious problem, and there are many people who will do whatever it takes to procure prescription drugs. In some cases, this can involve making counterfeit prescription pads in order to convince a pharmacist to fill a certain prescription for dangerous controlled substnaces. Under California Health & Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC, counterfeiting a prescription blank is a serious criminal offense that can lead to felony charges.
To prove a defendant is guilty under California Health & Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements of the crime:
- The defendant counterfeited a prescription blank purporting to be an official prescription blank prepared and issued by a licensed doctor or medical practitioner
- OR the defendant knowingly possessed counterfeit prescription blanks.
Other similar or related offenses include:
- Doctor Shopping / Prescription Fraud - California Health & Safety Code Section 11173 HSC
- Forging Prescription for a Narcotic – California Health & Safety Code Section 11368 HSC
- Forgery – California Penal Code Section 470 PC
A man is addicted to Oxycontin and wants to find a better way to obtain his drug of choice. Using his computer, the man replicates the prescription pad of his doctor and prints off numerous copies. He then uses the copies to write fake prescriptions which he tries to fill at various pharmacies around town. This man could be charged with producing counterfeit prescription blanks in violation of California Health & Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC.
In another example, a man goes to his doctor for a physical. When the doctor leaves the room, the man notices the doctor has left his prescription bad out in the open. The man grabs a few of the pages from the pad and hides them in his pocket. He later writes several prescriptions with this pad and tries to pass them off as authentic at his local pharmacy. While this man would not be criminally liable under California Health & Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC because he did not counterfeit prescription pads, he could be charged with forging a prescription for a narcotic in violation of California Health & Safety Code Section 11368 HSC.4. Defenses to Counterfeit Prescription Blank
There may be circumstances where the defendant unknowingly possessed counterfeit prescription pads that were provided by another person. Unless the defendant had reason to know that the prescription pads were counterfeit, he or she would not be guilty of this offense if charged criminally.5. Penalties
Counterfeiting prescription blanks is a serious criminal offense. If the defendant is accused of producing or possessing four or more counterfeit prescription blanks, the offense is a “wobbler” that can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged with a felony, the maximum punishment that can be imposed is three years in prison. If charged with a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty would be a year in jail.
If the defendant possessed or produced three or less counterfeit prescription pads, he or she could only be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum penalty would be a year in jail.6. Criminal Defense for Counterfeit Prescription Blank Cases
Producing or even possessing counterfeit prescription blanks is a serious criminal offense that can lead to felony charges. If you are under investigation for this offense, or have already been charged criminally, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly skilled at defending those charged with offenses of this nature. In many cases if he has been retained early enough in the process, Mr. Kraut is able to intervene before charges have been filed in order to have the charges rejected or significantly reduced. Mr. Kraut is highly respected throughout the court system as a dedicated litigator who fights hard on behalf of his clients charged with offenses such as this.
For more information about counterfeit prescription blanks, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.