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Is drug prescription fraud a felony?


Virginia takes drug-related charges seriously. The state has stringent laws for illegal activities related to drug procurement, such as prescription forgery or fraud.

In the Virginia Code § 18.2-258.1, the act of forging drug prescriptions for controlled substances and marijuana can result in a class 6 felony charge. The same goes for the following:

  • Using or trying to use a fake drug prescription
  • Using someone else’s identity to acquire drugs
  • Faking labels
  • Theft of drugs and prescriptions from employers
  • Giving physicians fake symptoms and other information to get prescriptions

These offenses can have extensive penalties, such as fines of up to $2,500 and a maximum of five years in prison.

Some exceptions

These actions may be reasonable in specific scenarios, exempting perpetrators from penalties. These include government officers and representatives of pharmaceutical manufacturers trying to acquire the substances for investigative or research purposes.

However, these manufacturers can only conduct these activities if they have the proper licenses provided by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Reducing sanctions

Additionally, the court may order supervised probation instead of jail time. Although, this arrangement comes with specific terms based on the trial’s outcome. These can include completing court-issued programs, regularly submitting tests and staying clean during probation. After fulfilling all these conditions, the charge can be reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor.

However, the judge can only reduce charges based on the results of the investigation and trial. During this time, criminal history details can come into play when the court decides the penalties. If you have existing drug-related offenses, you might not be able to get your charges reduced. Even so, it is best to seek legal counsel to learn about your options.

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