When issued by a licensed physician for certain medical reasons, oxycodone is a powerful pain management tool. However, when the drug is in the wrong hands, oxycodone, or oxycontin as it is commonly called, is one of America’s most addictive and abused controlled substances.
If you have been charged with possession of oxycodone or any other related drug offense in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas, you need the aggressive representation of an experienced Philadelphia oxycodone criminal defense attorney. Our firm will expertly handle your case from the arraignment proceedings until the final disposition to help ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a man-made opiate synthesis prescribed to individuals by physicians as a pain management aide. Oxycontin is simply the brand name of an oxycodone product manufactured by Purdue Pharma. However, oxycodone is also sold under a variety of other brand names, such as Percodan and Percocet.
Oxycodone was first developed in Germany in 1916 in an effort to discover an alternative pain medication that was less addictive than morphine. Unfortunately, oxycodone has proven to be just as addictive. In fact, according to information released from the Center for Disease Control, 75 percent of all deaths from prescription drug overdoses in 2010 involved the ingestion of oxycodone and other opiates.
Oxycodone of any form is considered a controlled substance according to federal law. The drug can only be legally used when prescribed by an authorized healthcare provider.
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act classifies oxycodone as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means it is currently an accepted drug for medical use, but it has a high abuse potential and carries an increased risk of addiction. The manufacture, distribution, and possession of Schedule II drugs are heavily regulated by the federal government.
Selling Oxycodone vs. Possessing Oxycodone
It is illegal to possess oxycodone without a valid prescription. On the other hand, possessing oxycodone with intent to sell or selling oxycodone is a felony charge with much more severe penalties than simple possession alone. However, the prosecution must produce evidence that clearly shows a defendant planned on selling oxycodone in order to achieve a distribution or possession with intent to sell conviction. In the eye of the law, selling oxycodone and possessing the drug with intent to sell are one in the same.
Contrary to what Hollywood typically portrays, the majority of drug trafficking charges do not stem from undercover sting operations in which law enforcement and the prosecution have evidence of drug deals secretly recorded on tape. In reality, the prosecution must typically rely on circumstantial evidence that attempts to show a defendant possessed oxycodone with intent to sell.
While circumstantial evidence is not as strong as direct witness testimony or audio or video recordings, you will have a difficult time persuading a judge or jury into believing the oxycodone law enforcement found in your possession was for personal use if you have 2,000 tablets, a stack of $100 bills, and boxes of sandwich bags in your car.
The Consequences of an Oxycodone Conviction in Philadelphia
According to federal sentencing guidelines, an individual convicted of selling oxycodone, or even attempting to sell the drug, may face up to 20 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $5 million. If found guilty of selling the drug near a school, the penalty may double. Furthermore, if someone dies as a result of an overdose or anything else related to the sale of the drug, a defendant in Pennsylvania may be sentenced to life in prison.
In addition to lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines, a defendant will also have a permanent criminal record, lose their student loans, be deported if they are a not a U.S. citizen, have a difficult time securing employment or housing, and more. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at our revered firm are expert troubleshooters and know what it takes to avoid an indictment, conviction, or lengthy sentence.
Successfully defending oxycodone cases demands a great deal of experience, expertise, resources, and determination from a lawyer. In order to effectively plea bargain, a lawyer must be aggressive while maintaining professionalism and an understanding of what will best serve the client. Needless to say, in-depth knowledge of the workings of law enforcement agencies as well as state and federal narcotics squads is a must.
Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled a multitude of oxycodone and other drug-related cases, and we have the knowledge, resources, and determination to provide our clients with the best possible results. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call us at 215.454.6680.