If you are caught with OxyCodone, you can be charged with a criminal offense, even though it is a legal, prescription drug. Commonly referred to as OxyContin or Percocet, it is a narcotic pain reliever prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Although it is a legally prescribed drug, there are still some serious side effects. Abuse can cause dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and even overdose. According to the CDC, over 16,000 people died from Oxy related overdoses in a year.
It is highly addictive and has become popular in drug trade. Many patients resort to illegal means when their prescription runs out and their doctor won’t prescribe anymore—this is when most people get caught.
Under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, OxyCodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to a significant risk of addiction and high potential for abuse. Illegally obtaining Oxy, or even just the prescription itself, is a serious crime in New York. Article 178 of the New York Penal Law states, “A person is guilty of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions… when he or she commits a criminal diversion act.” A criminal diversion act is any act (or acts) in which an individual deliberately:
- Transfers or delivers either a plain prescription or the actual prescription medication for payment, while knowing the recipient does not need the medication or prescription for medical purposes
- Receives a plain prescription or the actual prescription medication, while knowing that the seller has no legal authority to sell the medication or prescription
Depending on monetary amount found in possession, if there was intent to sell, and the offender’s past record, the charges range from a Class A Misdemeanor—the least severe—to a Class C Felony. The penalties include incarceration, steep fines, community service, and mandatory participation in a drug abuse program. At the very least, a Class A misdemeanor controlled substance charge can result in a fine of $1,000 and up to 1 year in prison. Possession of larger amounts can lengthen the prison time and increase fines. If you are charged with intent to distribute, the penalties are more serious.
If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance in New York, it is important for you to talk to an attorney right away. Possession of drugs in New York can result in fines and periods of incarceration. Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. is a criminal defense attorney who has tried over 1200 cases in a period of 30 years. Contact his law office today to start building a solid defense for your case. Call us for a free consultation (718) 575-3900.