Like other U.S. states, Maryland keeps a list of controlled substances considered illegal to possess and use. These drugs and other substances are highly abusable and addiction-forming, which is why the state has severe legal consequences for anyone caught using or owning them.
However, there are also controlled substances that are prescribed for medical use. They may be perfectly legal, but the state has strict rules about how only those with a proper doctor’s prescription can obtain them.
It’s against the law to attempt to obtain a controlled substance through a false prescription. Fines and imprisonment await those who violate the rules.
False prescription offenses
According to state law, the following actions are false prescription offenses:
- Creating, distributing, or possessing a counterfeit prescription.
- Using a false name or address to obtain a prescription.
- Falsifying a prescription by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.
- Passing a fake or altered prescription to another person.
The law is broad enough to cover a range of fraudulent activities related to controlled substance prescriptions. So altering a prescription, impersonating medical staff to obtain a prescription and stealing prescription pads also count as offenses.
The penalties for false prescriptions
A false prescription offense is a felony crime. If a court convicts a person of the crime, the person faces up to five years of prison and $15,000 in fines. The court may also order the person to participate in a drug treatment program.
Controlled substances, whether they have an approved medical use or not, are dangerous. Maryland’s laws exist to prevent the illegal distribution of these drugs to prevent abuse and health risks. If you face charges for using a fake prescription, consider speaking with a legal professional to understand your defense options.