As addiction to opiates and other medication continues to grow so too does the prevalence of individuals attempting to use forged or altered prescriptions to obtain controlled substances. Fraudulent prescriptions come in many forms ranging from complicated schemes to counterfeit tablets or blanks, to something as simple as changing the quantity. Irrespective of the mode of forgery, this variety of prescription drug offense is treated seriously under New Jersey Law and should be distinguished from the entirely separate offense of obtaining CDS by fraud. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver witness forgery and other charges arising out of addiction pharmaceuticals virtual every day. Clients relate stories time and time again about how they immediately sensed a problem when they passed a bogus prescription blank or when they started being questioned about the document. While we cannot recreate the facts that led to your arrest, we can insure that you have every opportunity to escape a life altering outcome. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation with a former prosecutor or other highly experienced prescription forgery defense lawyer from our Newark Office.
Montclair NJ Prescription Forger Defense Attorney
How Does The Law in New Jersey Define “Forgery”?
N.J.S. 2C:21-1 is the New Jersey Forgery Law. It generally defines the term forgery as the misrepresentation of the authenticity of a document through alteration, duplication or other fraudulent means. The statute gives examples of way a “writing” may be forged, including:
- Alteration or changes;
- Misrepresentation that the prescription is the actor’s or that he/she possesses authority to try fill it;
- Counterfeiting by copy or duplicating;
- Modifying the sequence, date or place of execution;
- Representing that the writing is authentic when it is not.
For purposes of 2C:21-1, writing not only includes a prescription itself but any printing or any other method of recording information.
Prescription Forgery Lawyer in Bloomfield NJ
What Penalties Do You Face If Convicted Of Prescription Forgery?
The forgery statute provides for different grading and severity of penalties depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. The following is the relevant grading language contained in N.J.S. 2C:21-1:
b. Grading of forgery. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S.45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device.Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.
As you can see, forgery involving a prescription blank is almost always a third degree crime. Third degree forgery carries up to five years years in state prison and a fine that can be as high as $15,000. It should be kept in mind, however, that most individuals charged with forging a blank also face related offenses like theft of prescriptions, or possession and/or distribution of medications, for example, pain pills. The penalties to which an individual is exposed can certainly exceed that involved with third degree forgery.
West Orange NJ Prescription Forgery Defense Firm
If you are looking for a criminal firm with loads of experience, including as former prosecutors in Essex County, do not hesitate to contact our Newark Office at 973-710-1520. An attorney on our defense team will go over the facts of your forgery case and develop a plan to avoid and/or minimize the exposure you are facing under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1. Don’t wait until it is too late to deal with this third degree crime as the consequences of a misstep could result in prison/jail. Lawyers at our firm are available for free consultation now.