Obtaining Controlled Substances By Fraud
Criminal Law & Procedure: Criminal Offenses:Fraud
A person commits an offense when he or she acquires, obtains, or attempts to obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, or forgery. The person obtains a controlled substance by fraud when the person forges or alters a prescription for the controlled substance. Forging or altering the prescription may be accomplished by forging a practitioner's signature, by using a fictitious signature, by increasing the quantity of the controlled substance, or by making a fictitious or a fraudulent telephone call in order to obtain the prescription.
A prescription is an order from a practitioner or an agent of the practitioner to a pharmacist for the dispensation of a dangerous drug. The order must include a date, the name and address of a patient, the name and quantity of the drug, and directions for using the drug. The order must also be stamped with the name, address, telephone number, and Federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration number of the practitioner.
A practitioner may be a physician, a dentist, a veterinarian, a pharmacist, or other person who is licensed to use controlled substances in his or her profession.
If a defendant is charged in an indictment or an information with obtaining possession of a controlled substance by fraud, the indictment or the information must state the name of the controlled substance and the means by which the defendant obtained the controlled substance.
In order to convict a defendant of obtaining possession of a controlled substance by fraud, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly or intentionally forged a prescription, increased the quantity of the prescription, or issued a forged or a fictitious signature on the prescription. The prosecution may also show that the defendant obtained possession of the controlled prescription by using a false, fictitious, or altered prescription or by making a fictitious or a fraudulent telephone call. Furthermore, the prosecution may show that the defendant possessed a controlled substance that was obtained by a forged, fictitious, or altered prescription or by a fictitious or a fraudulent telephone call.
The punishment for obtaining possession of a controlled substance by fraud depends upon the type of the controlled substance that is obtained. The offense may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.
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