Is Forging a Prescription a Felony?

Yes, it is a felony in most cases. Felony charges will in include schedule 1 through 4 levels. Unless the controlled substance is a schedule 5. Then the prescription fraud is a Class A misdemeanor. 

Changing a Prescription

This is illegal act is common in most criminal cases when a person attempting to obtain the drugs is the person accused. This takes place by possibly changing the prescription somehow to dishonestly obtain prescription medication. An altered prescription is illegal and is described as a crime under Sec. 481.129 (a-1) Obtains or attempts to obtain from practitioner by fraud

How Severely is Prescription Tampering Defined?

There are 3 levels of crimes for prescription tampering. Schedule 1 and 2 are measured as a 2d degree penalty. Schedule 3 and 4 are defined as a 3d degree penalty. Schedule 5 is a Class A misdemeanor.  The 3 levels of crime are listed in Penal Code Chapter 12 Punishments

What is a Forged Prescription Penalty?

The schedule 1 and 2 that are 2d degree felonies can carry up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fine. The schedule 3 and 4 that are 3d degree punishments can be up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine. The schedule 5 is class A misdemeanor and up to 1 year in county jail and up to a $4,000 fine.  

Crime Levels and Punishment For Forging Prescriptions

Sec. 481.129. OFFENSE: FRAUD

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:(1) distributes as a registrant or dispenser a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, unless the person distributes the controlled substance as authorized under the federal Controlled Substances Act ;

(2) uses in the course of manufacturing, prescribing, or distributing a controlled substance a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration number that is fictitious, revoked, suspended, or issued to another person;

(3) issues a prescription bearing a forged or fictitious signature;

(4) uses a prescription issued to another person to prescribe a Schedule II controlled substance;

(5) possesses, obtains, or attempts to possess or obtain a controlled substance or an increased quantity of a controlled substance: (A) by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge; (B) through use of a fraudulent prescription form; or (C) through use of a fraudulent oral or telephonically communicated prescription; or

(6) furnishes false or fraudulent material information in or omits material information from an application, report, record, or other document required to be kept or filed under this chapter.

(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person, with intent to obtain a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances that is not medically necessary for the person or an amount of a controlled substance or substances that is not medically necessary for the person, obtains or attempts to obtain from a practitioner a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, subterfuge, or concealment of a material fact.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally:(1) makes, distributes, or possesses a punch, die, plate, stone, or other thing designed to print, imprint, or reproduce an actual or simulated trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or device of another on a controlled substance or the container or label of a container for a controlled substance, so as to make the controlled substance a counterfeit substance; or

(2) manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver a counterfeit substance. (c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally:

(1) delivers a prescription or a prescription form for other than a valid medical purpose in the course of professional practice; or

(2) possesses a prescription for a controlled substance or a prescription form unless the prescription or prescription form is possessed:(A) during the manufacturing or distribution process; (B) by a practitioner, practitioner’s agent, or an institutional practitioner for a valid medical purpose during the course of professional practice; (C) by a pharmacist or agent of a pharmacy during the professional practice of pharmacy; (D) under a practitioner’s order made by the practitioner for a valid medical purpose in the course of professional practice; or (E) by an officer or investigator authorized to enforce this chapter within the scope of the officer’s or investigator’s official duties.(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is:(1) a felony of the second degree if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule I or II;(2) a felony of the third degree if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule III or IV; and (3) a Class A misdemeanor if the controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule V.

(d-1) An offense under Subsection (a-1) is:(1) a felony of the second degree if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule I or II;

(2) a felony of the third degree if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule III or IV; and

(3) a Class A misdemeanor if any controlled substance that is the subject of the offense is listed in Schedule V.

(e) An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor. 

(f) An offense under Subsection (c)(1) is:

(1) a felony of the second degree if the defendant delivers:

(A) a prescription form; or

(B) a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II; and(2) a felony of the third degree if the defendant delivers a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule III, IV, or V.(g) An offense under Subsection (c)(2) is:(1) a state jail felony if the defendant possesses:(A) a prescription form; or(B) a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II or III; and(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the defendant possesses a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule IV or V. 

The highlighted portion above focuses on the crime and punishment for the person trying to use the fraudulent transaction to obtain drugs according to the Texas Health and Safety Code, Texas Controlled Substances Act.  

Other Prescription Fraud Charges

Other forms of fraud listed in the statute above include the prescriber of the drugs to have commited a crime in one form or another to get drugs to a person. It happens but is less common than the fraud being committed by the person obtaining the prescription medication. 

Drug Schedules

The Department of State Health Services website has a list of scheduled drugs. Each schedule number of drugs get weaker with each number of 1 through 5. 

Contact Eric Torberson at https://www.erictorberson.com for more assistance. In the central Texas area Eric handles several counties with numerous satisfied clients.