Oxycodone is a narcotic with properties similar to morphine that is widely prescribed for severe pain relief. It is marketed under a variety of trade names, including a commonly prescribed time-release formulation (OxyContin®). For mild to moderate pain relief, oxycodone is combined with aspirin (Percodan®) or with acetaminophen (Percocet®).
OxyContin® has a high concentration of oxycodone and is the most common source of illicitly used oxycodone. Illicit users ingest the drug by swallowing intact tablets or, more often, by crushing or chewing the tablets to circumvent their time-released properties. Crushed tablets can also be inhaled as a powder.
Illicit users and dealers generally acquire the drug by stealing it from pharmacies or clinics, by using forged prescriptions, or by purchasing it from patients who have legitimate prescriptions. Law enforcement agents who are eager to arrest doctors for overprescribing medications have also made oxycodone more difficult for legitimate patients to obtain.
Since oxycodone has accepted medical uses but is perceived as subject to serious abuse, it is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance.
Penalties For Oxycodone Convictions
A federal sentence for distributing (or possessing with intent to distribute) oxycodone or for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone depends upon whether the defendant has a prior drug conviction under state or federal law and whether a serious injury or death resulted from use of the distributed drug. A mandatory minimum sentence applies if distribution of the drug leads to death or serious bodily injury.
- No injury
- First offense: Maximum sentence of 20 years.
- Second or subsequent offense: Maximum sentence of 30 years.
- Serious injury or death:
- First offense: Minimum sentence of 20 years, maximum of life.
- Second or subsequent offense: Minimum sentence of life.
The maximum penalties described above may increase substantially and different mandatory minimum penalties may apply if:
- the drug was distributed to a person under the age of 21;
- the drug was distributed to a pregnant woman;
- minors were employed to assist in the commission of the offense; or
- distribution occurred near a protected area.
In addition to a potential prison sentence, fines and costs can be imposed, as well as a term of supervised release.
Simple Possession Oxycodone Penalties
Simple possession is the term used to describe possession of a drug for personal use, not with the intent to distribute the drug to others. The range of sentences available for simple possession of oxycodone depends upon whether the defendant has a prior conviction for a drug offense under state or federal law.
- First offense: Maximum sentence of one year.
- Second offense: Minimum sentence of 15 days, maximum of two years.
- Third or subsequent offense: Minimum sentence of 90 days, maximum of three years.
Let a Drug Lawyer Help You
If you find yourself facing drug charges dealing with Oxycodone, do not hesitate to contact the drug attorneys at Hamilton Grant to discuss your case. You should never face serious criminal charges without the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.