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What Is Prescription Fraud?

Exploring the Different Types of Drug Fraud

While pharmaceutical drugs can be effective and legal medication for patients, when they’re distributed to people without a prescription, they can land an individual in serious legal trouble. When someone uses deception to obtain a prescription drug, they commit prescription fraud.

There are multiple prescription fraud-related offenses that an individual may be charged with, including:

  • Deception to obtain dangerous drugs
  • Illegal processing of drug documents
  • Illegal dispensing of drug samples
  • Forgery

In each of these offenses, the exact penalties will vary based on the type and amount of drug in question.

Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs

An individual commits deception to obtain dangerous drugs when they lie to obtain a certain medication. Depending on the type of drug, the person will face:

  • Schedule III, IV, or V drug: fifth degree felony to second degree felony
  • Schedule I or II drug: fourth degree felony to first degree felony

In addition to the associated prison sentence, anyone convicted of deception in order to obtain dangerous drugs will have their driver’s license suspended and be subject to discretionary probation for up to five years.

Illegal Processing of Drug Documents

An individual is guilty of illegal processing of drug documents when they make a false claim in a prescription, make, sell, or possess a fake prescription, steal a prescription, or apply a false label to a dangerous drug container.

Convicted individuals will face a fifth degree felony or a fourth degree felony. If convicted of a fifth degree felony, the individual will be subject to up to one year in prison. A person convicted of a fourth degree felony may be punished with up to 18 months in prison. In addition, any convicted individual, regardless of the degree of their felony, will have their license suspended for up to five years.

Illegal Dispensing of Drug Samples

If an individual supplies another person with a sample of a drug, they could be convicted of illegal dispensing of drug samples. A guilty individual may face a first degree misdemeanor, a fifth degree felony, or a fourth degree felony depending on the type and amount of drug involved.


Forgery in an attempt to fraudulently obtain prescription drugs is a fifth degree felony in Ohio. An individual could be found guilty of the offense by:

  • Forging the writing of another person without their permission
  • Forging the writing and claiming it to be genuine
  • Possessing any writing they know to be forged

If convicted, an individual could face up to one year in prison and up to five years of probation.

If you’ve been accused of prescription fraud, you must act fast. Contact our firm for help today.