Washington law makes it a crime for any person to forge a prescription for a controlled substance. Prosecutors file the offense as a felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) and a conviction could result in up to two years in prison. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing any type of forgery related charge.
What is the Crime of Forging a Prescription?
RCW 69.50.403(1)(e) is the Washington statute on forging a prescription for a controlled substance. According to this law, you are guilty of a crime if you knowingly and intentionally:
“make or utter any false or forged prescription or false or forged written order [for a controlled substance]”
Note that the law defines “forgery” as the false making or altering of a document (here, a prescription) with the intent to defraud.
You generally act with an “intent to defraud” when you:
- Act with the aim of deceiving or tricking someone, and
- Do so in order to cause financial loss to another person or bring some financial gain to yourself.
What are the Penalties?
Forging a prescription is a Class C felony under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:
- Imprisonment for up to two years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $2,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You can challenge a forgery charge with a legal defense. A common defense is to assert that you did not act:
- Intentionally, or
- With the specific intent to defraud someone.
It might have been the case that you made or altered a false prescription as a type of joke or by accident.
Another common defense is to assert that you were entrapped. Entrapment refers to the defense where you say that a law enforcement officer lured you into committing a crime. Defendants usually raise this defense if they get charged as part of an undercover sting operation. The defense will work if you can show that:
- The police lured you into forging a prescription, and
- But for this luring, you would not have forged a prescription.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a forged prescription charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on forgery charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!