Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence

The offence of Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence is in section 77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. It is a criminal offence for a person to make a fake prescription for medication that is considered a drug of dependence. A person may also be charged with this offence if they changed the details on an existing prescription.

Have you been accused of Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence?

Police Interview
If the police suspect you have forged prescriptions and orders for drugs of dependence, they will want to conduct a formal interview. They will either telephone you to make an appointment or they will attend your home or place of employment to arrest you and take you to a police station.

Before the interview is started, you will be given an opportunity to speak to a lawyer. Do not approach this casually and think that you can handle this process without speaking with a lawyer first. The interview process is designed to help police compile their evidence against you, it is not designed to assist you.

Our lawyers have experience in attending police interviews. We know what they are likely to say and do and we know what your rights and obligations are. We can provide you with detailed advice on the interview process and step you through your options for responding to police questions. For a charge of this kind, it is likely police already have documents or material as well as statements from people that they will say supports a charge against you.

Pleading Not Guilty
If you have been charged with forging prescriptions and orders for drugs of dependence, the next step is to obtain advice from a lawyer about defending the allegation. The police will compile a brief containing evidence they say proves the charge of forging prescripts and orders for drugs of dependence. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we take the time to carefully consider the brief and provide you with comprehensive legal advice on your best strategy for defending the charge against you.

Pleading Guilty
Before making the decision to plead guilty to a charge of this kind, it is essential that you get advice from a lawyer. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will review the evidence against you and ensure that the charge of making false statement is the appropriate charge, that all the elements of the offence are made out and no defences are available to you.

Then we will assist you to prepare for your plea hearing. We will:

  • Obtain character references,
  • Take detailed instructions from you about your personal history and the circumstances that lead to the offending, and
  • Direct you to offence specific course.
We will prepare a plea to present to the Magistrate to ensure you receive the lowest possible penalty available to you.

Sentencing
Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of VictoriaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Attempt to Forge a Prescription or Order for a Drug of Dependence in the Magistrates' Courts
Which court will the case be heard in?
Forging prescriptions and orders for drugs of dependence is heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

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.

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.
“How do they prove you did anything?”

Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.

Defences
  • 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 for section 77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981
The maximum penalty for Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence (s77 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981) is a fine of 20 penalty units or level 8 imprisonment (1 year), or both.

Other Important Resources
Case studies related to Forging Prescriptions and Orders for Drugs of Dependence