Possession charges are never charges that should be taken lightly; possessing a prescription form in Illinois, however, can have substantial penalties. If you're facing such a charge of possession of a prescription form in Illinois, Dolci & Weiland's criminal defense attorneys may be able to help.
Unauthorized Possession of a Prescription Form
720 ILCS 570/406.2 prohibits the unauthorized possession of a prescription form, making it a criminal offense to
- alter a properly issued prescription form, such as increasing the dosage or quantity of a medication which was legitimately prescribed by a doctor;
- possess without authorization a blank prescription form or counterfeit prescription form, such as one stolen from a doctor's office or created online; or
- possess a prescription form not issued by a licensed prescriber.
Knowledge is key to a charge of possessing a prescription form; in order to be found guilty of the charge, you must know that the genuine prescription has been altered, or that the prescription that you possess was not issued by a physician. Determining whether you have knowledge that the prescription has been altered is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Possible Penalties for Possession of a Prescription Form
Being charged with possession of a prescription form leaves you facing severe penalties. Determining the punishment you may face for conviction of your charge depends on how many previous offenses you have faced.
- A first-time offense of possession of a prescription form is a Class 4 felony charge, which can result in imprisonment for one to three years, along with a fine of up to $100,000.
- A second or subsequent offense is a Class 3 felony, and can result in two to five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $200,000.
Defenses to a Possession Charge
If you have been charged with possession of a prescription form, it's important to enlist the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending clients from charges like yours. A well-versed attorney may be able to assert defenses to your charge which could help your case, including the following.
- Violations of your Fourth Amendment rights, where an officer conducted a search or seizure without probable cause.
- Your lack of knowledge that the prescription that you possessed was not prescribed by a licensed physician.
- Your lack of knowledge that the prescription that you possess had been altered.
Defenses can very often be beneficial to your case; in some cases, these defenses could result in your charges being dropped altogether.
Facing a Possession Charge? We Can Help
If you are facing a possession charge after being caught with a prescription form in Illinois, the team of attorneys at Dolci & Weiland is dedicated to providing quality representation and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. To schedule a consultation to speak with an attorney about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call the office nearest to you. For our DuPage location, call (630) 261-9098, or for our Chicago office, call (312) 238-9007 today.