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Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence

– section 77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981

This offence is when you make a fake prescription for medication that is considered a drug of dependence. Or when you change the details on an existing prescription.

Examples of Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence
  • A woman makes a fake prescription for sleeping tablets.
  • A man changes the quantity of codeine based pain killers he has been prescribed.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence?
  • No prescriptions or orders for drugs of dependence were forged.
  • You did not fill the prescription.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did you change anything on your prescription?
  • Can they prove that you forged a prescription?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 20 penalty units or level 8 imprisonment (1 year), or both.

Forging prescriptions and orders for drugs of dependence is heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

“How do they prove you did anything?”
What is the legal definition of Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence?

A person intentionally forged, attempted to forge a prescription or presented a forged prescription for the purpose of obtaining a drug of dependence.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.1

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

You will most likely incur a fine if found guilty of this offence. However in serious cases or for repeat offences you may also get a prison sentence.

Other Important Resources

 


[1] Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Section 77

(1) A person shall not forge or attempt to forge or fraudulently alter or attempt to fraudulently alter or utter or attempt to utter knowing it to be forged or fraudulently altered a prescription or order for a drug of dependence.
Penalty: 20 penalty units or level 8 imprisonment (1 year maximum) or both.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a patient medicinal cannabis access authorisation is an order for a drug of dependence.