Georgia Prescription Drug Laws
Georgia Prescription Drug Laws
Prescription drugs are controlled substances. Possession or use of a prescription drug is illegal under Georgia Drug Laws unless it is done with a legitimate prescription from a medical practitioner. It is also illegal to sell or possess with the intent to sell a prescription drug without being a medical practitioner who is authorized to do so.
The application of and penalties imposed by these sections will differ depending on whether the accused is an individual or licensed medical practitioner. Medical practitioners found in violation of these sections may be subject to professional sanctions and/or professional license suspension or revocation in addition to the terms of imprisonment and fines imposed on non-practitioners.
The penalties imposed for possession, sale, or possession with intent to sell will also be dependent on what schedule of drug it is.
1. The Illegal Sale or Possession of Prescription Drugs (Possessing, Selling, or Using Someone Else’s Prescription)
It is illegal to possess a prescription drug without a legitimate prescription from a medical practitioner. Additionally, it is a crime to sell or possess with the intent to sell a prescription drug without the proper authority to do so. In order to be convicted of this offense, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (sold / possessed) a prescription drug 2) the specific drug involved can only legally be obtained through a legitimate prescription, and 3) the defendant’s (sale / possession) of the drug was not authorized by law.
Many people do not realize how serious altering a prescription or forging one all together can be. Prescription fraud is treated as forgery of the first degree which is a felony in Georgia. If you are convicted of forging a prescription in Georgia, you are looking at 1-10 years in prison.
§ OCGA 16-9-1. Forgery in the first degree
(a) A person commits the offense of forgery in the first degree when with intent to defraud he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters or delivers such writing.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of forgery in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.
As you can see prescription forgery is not a matter to be taken lightly. If you are facing Prescription Fraud Charges in Georgia please call 404-250-3206 immediately.
3. Drugs Not in Original Container
Under Georgia state and U.S. federal law it is an offense for a person to possess or have under his control any narcotic drug except as authorized by some applicable exception, a person possessing a narcotic prescribed by a physician must possess it only in the container in which it was delivered to him’ by the person selling or dispensing it. This section imposes a burden on the defendant charged with illegal possession of a narcotic substance to prove that he possessed the drug in the container in which a pharmacist delivered it to him. In the absence of proof that the drug in the defendants possession was in the container in which it was delivered to him possession is unlawful.
Defendants who are unable to prove that they possessed the prescribed narcotic lawfully and in its original container are subject to the penalty for illegal possession of a narcotic substance.
The penalties attached to these crimes are very serious. If you are a doctor, pharmacist or nurse, you may be in jeopardy of losing your professional license which can destroy your career. If you are in the Atlanta area and are charged with a prescription drug violation, please call The Law Offices of Douglas B. Chanco at 404-250-3206.