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People v. Henderson

OPINION FILED JANUARY 27, 1978.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

RENEE HENDERSON, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fifth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, the Hon. William G. Eovaldi, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DOOLEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied March 30, 1978.

On April 2, 1975, defendant presented to a pharmacist a prescription for 30 tablets of preludin, a form of phenmetrazine, a controlled substance under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1208(b)). Upon the arrival of the police, defendant fled without obtaining the drug. Defendant knew the prescription bore a false signature.

On April 3, 1975, a complaint charging her with forgery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 17-3) was filed in the circuit court of Jefferson County. She waived indictment, right to counsel, and jury trial. She pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, and was sentenced to a term of one to three years.

In the appellate court the State confessed error on defendant's waiver of counsel and waiver of indictment. However, the appellate court held defendant could be prosecuted under the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 1-1 et seq.), and reversed and remanded the cause so that defendant could plead anew. (42 Ill. App.3d 758.) We allowed her petition for leave to appeal under Rule 315 (58 Ill.2d R. 315).

The question for decision is whether defendant can be charged with forgery, a Class 3 felony under the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 17-3(d)), or whether the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1101 et seq.) is the exclusive basis for criminal prosecution for the delivery of a false prescription. Under this statute such an offense is a misdemeanor (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1406(b)).

Defendant's contention is that the Illinois Controlled Substances Act is the only statute under which she can be prosecuted.

Since the respective statutes are of such importance, we set them forth. Section 17-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 provides:

"(a) A person commits forgery when, with intent to defraud, he knowingly:

(1) Makes or alters any document apparently capable of defrauding another in such manner that it purports to have been made by another or at another time, or with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not have such authority; or

(2) Issues or delivers such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or

(3) Possesses, with intent to issue or deliver, any such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered.

(b) An intent to defraud means an intention to cause another to assume, create, transfer, alter or terminate any right, obligation or power with reference to any person or property.

(c) A document apparently capable of defrauding another includes, but is not limited to, one by which any right, obligation or power with reference to any person or property may ...


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