Possession of a controlled substance is a serious crime involving a defendant unlawfully possessing drugs. The controlled substance can be illegal drugs, like cocaine, or legal pharmaceutical drugs. But without a valid prescription, a defendant can commit the criminal act of possessing a controlled substance. In California, writing a false prescription is a separate crime.

How Does California Define Writing a False Prescription?

The crime of writing a false prescription can be defined in two ways.  The first is when an individual falsely represents themselves as someone who can lawfully write prescriptions, such as a physician. The second way occurs when person falsely represents that they are acting on behalf of an authorized person through electronic communications such as online or telephone. In this case, an authorized person is someone who can legally write prescriptions.

What is the Punishment for Writing a False Prescription?

In California, writing a false prescription is a wobbler. A wobbler is when the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail. A felony conviction is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

Can I Use a Defense to Fight a Charge of Writing a False Prescription?

Yes. The type of defenses a defendant can use are different  from the defenses for possessing a controlled substance defenses. These defenses include:

  • The defendant didn’t sign the prescription
  • The defendant did have the authority to sign the prescription
  • The defendant didn’t have any idea the prescription used was forged 

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Defend Me?

Yes. Contact a California lawyer about this defending you against this charge.