Nicknamed “hillbilly heroin” for the similarity of its effects to that opiate, possession of Oxycontin is not legal in the U.S. The sale, use of without a prescription and possession of Oxycontin without a prescription is a crime under state law and under federal law.
Oxycodone is an opiate that physicians prescribe to patients in order to combat pain. OxyContin is a brand name. This brand name was given to oxycoden by the company Purdue Pharma. Purdue Pharma created an oral version of oxycodone called Oxycotin. Oxycodone comes in a tablet form.
This drug was created in 1916 in Germany. It was the result of an effort to find pain medicine that was as good as opiates such as morphine. However, the scientists were hoping to make a painkiller that wasn’t as addictive as opiates. Sadly, science has shown us that this drug has turned out to be very addictive. The Center for Disease Control has shown us that three-quarters of all of the deaths from a pharmaceutical drug overdose (over 16,600 people) died because of opioid drugs like oxycodone.
Any form of the drug oxycodone is a controlled substance under federal law and use of the drug is legal only with a prescription from an authorized medical care provider. (21 U.S.C. § 802.)
Possession of Oxycodone possession is a felony. If you have less than 50 grams of this drug you could be facing up to four years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Possession of over 50 grams to 449 grams increase the penalties to up to 20 years in prison. The maximum fine is up to $250,000. Possession of 450 grams to 999 grams has a person face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. If a person has over 1,000 grams they will be facing up to life in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. If a prosecutor thinks you are trying to see or deliver Oxycodone, you could face up to 20 years in prison for even having less than 50 grams of the drug.
Under Michigan law, certain kinds of prescription, illegal drugs and substances are classified according to the potential for addiction. These drugs and substances are also classified based on whether these drugs serve a legitimate medical purpose. Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug, which means the drug does serve a legitimate medical purpose. It also means it is highly addictive.
The penalties facing people charged with federal drug crimes are staggering and harsh. For example, The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan has seen numerous cases where young people, without any criminal record, are facing a minimum of ten years in federal prison if they are found guilty or plea guilty to the charge. Ten years is a minimum sentence. This means that this younger person could be facing more than ten years in the slammer. The bad news doesn’t stop there, unlike people serving time in state prisons, people serving time in federal prison are required to serve at least 85 percent of the time they are sentenced to.
Attorney Shawn Haff
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