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My cousin who lives in Anaheim, California was just caught trying to fill in a forged prescription for a benzodiazepine (Valium/diazepam). He scanned and forged the original script given to him by a doctor who refused to refill it a second time.

He went to a CVS last December and they successfully filled it. He tried again this month only to be caught by the pharmacist who asked him to wait a bit but called the police who arrived and arrested him

He was bailed out and now they say he's looking at being on the hook for a felony if the DA decides to press charges. How serious is this? I know a workmate who did something similar here the UK and only got a caution. I think this is highly unlikely to happen to him though as the American justice system is known for being particularly brutal in comparison to other Western nations.

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    @NateEldredge please don’t answer in comments
    – Dale M
    Mar 21, 2021 at 3:32

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If the DA decides to press charges (we don't know) and if he is convicted (looks like a solid case), the problems are not just the sentence itself.

  • There might be a probation period with conditions like drug tests and counseling, with penalties if he misses them.
  • It is legal to discriminate against people based on prior convictions. While California has some restrictions on when employers may ask, they can make it one part of their assessment.

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