Oxycodone is a pain medication that is available only by prescription. It is derived from certain poppy plants and works in a similar way to opiates such as heroin. In recent years, oxycodone addictions have been the basis of many different drug crimes.
Oxycodone is used in certain brand name prescription drugs like: OxyContin (brand name for Oxycodone); Percodan (Oxycodone combined with aspirin); and Percocet (Oxycodone combined with paracetamol). It is considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance (the same as cocaine, morphine, and other substances).
Is Oxycodone Illegal?
Oxycodone and oxycodone-based drugs are legal, so long as the person taking the substance has a valid doctor’s prescription, or "script." Unauthorized use, possession, sale, or distribution of oxycodone is illegal. Violators can face serious criminal penalties for the use or sale of oxycodone without a prescription or seller’s license.
Oxycodone is often obtained legally, and then sold illegally for a profit on the black markets or in the streets. The drug is sometimes obtained illegally- armed robberies of pharmacies are becoming more widespread, especially in the mid-West U.S. states.
What Are some Penalties for Oxycodone Crimes?
Simple possession of oxycodone for personal use can result in serious charges if the person doesn’t have a prescription. This can lead to jail time of anywhere from 1-5 years, plus some criminal fines. The terms depend on jurisdiction and state laws.
On the other hand, possession of oxycodone with the intent to sell is a different story. This can result in felony charges, which are punishable by prison times of 5-10 years. Criminal fines can range from $250,000 to several millions of dollars, depending on the amount possessed. Intent to distribute oxycodone can be inferred from the facts surrounding the case. For instance, if the person is in possession of tablets that are packaged and ready for distribution, authorities will assume that the suspect is getting ready to sell them.
Besides these criminal penalties, other consequences can result from a drug crime conviction, including:
- Confiscation of vehicles used to transport the controlled substances
- Confiscation of money from sales
- Loss of the right to possess a firearm
- Restricted from being a certain distance from a school zone (if the defendant was selling drugs to minors)
- Loss of some Federal benefits, such as grants, housing, student loans, etc.
Lastly, penalties become greatly enhanced if a person becomes seriously injured or deceased (overdoses) as a result of the defendant’s actions.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Oxycodone-Related Drug Charges?
Drug crimes can lead to very serious legal penalties. You may wish to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you need help with violations of prescription drug laws. Your attorney can explain what your options are, and what rights you have. A qualified lawyer in your area can also assist you if you need to make a formal appearance in a court of law.