Legal Question in Military Law in Georgia

UCMJ and prescription alteration

If someone is falsely accused of altering a prescription given by a civilian doctor given to a civilian pharmacy, will it still be tried under UCMJ while active duty? If covered by UCMJ, what is the article this crime is covered by?

Asked on 8/21/08, 10:07 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

William J. Holmes Attorney at Military Law

Re: UCMJ and prescription alteration

This could be tried by the military at a court-martial if they want to. Which article depends on how it is charged. It could be Article 112a if they want to charge for the improper use of the drug, or they could charge it as some type of forgery or fraud, depending on the individual facts and exactly what was done. Either way, the military would have jurisdiction and could bring charges.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 8/22/08, 10:53 am

Philip D. Cave Military Law & Justice

Re: UCMJ and prescription alteration

Interestingly I just had this exact issue come up in a case.

The Marine had been AWOL for 20 years. He was caught because he went to the local pharmacy with a prescription (of his wife's) that he'd altered for a pain medication.

He was arrested and tried in civilian court and then turned over to the Marines. They put him in the Brig for about three weeks and then discharged him with an Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge based on the AWOL. They decided not to prosecute the forgery charge because of the expense and logistics.

But intially he was facing court-martial for AWOL, forgery, and a violation of Article 112(a)(drug use).

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Answered on 8/23/08, 9:56 pm
Philip Simmons Philip Simmons

Re: UCMJ and prescription alteration

It would be charged and could be tried under Art 112a (drug use) or possibly forgery, depending on the circumstances

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Answered on 8/21/08, 10:13 pm

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