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Possessing any kind of prescription opioids that are not prescribed to you will likely lead to drug charges if you’re in the state of New York. Most of the time, the District Attorney and judges in courtrooms across the state are not very lenient regarding this type of crime. If you can show that you do have a proper prescription to possess the medication, then this is a defense that your attorney can use in court to have the charges dismissed or reduced depending on the reason behind your arrest.
Some of the most common types of prescription opioids that you could have in your possession include Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Demerol. The amount of the drug that you have in your possession and the strength of the drug will usually be taken into consideration if you are stopped and have these items in your possession. Your criminal history and whether or not your name is on the container that you have can also be a deciding factor as to the charges that you receive or if you’re charged at all.
If you are charged and convicted of prescription opioid possession, then you’re usually looking at a misdemeanor. If you have a large amount that qualifies as trafficking, then you could be charged with a felony or a federal crime instead of one that is only dealt with by the state.
When you go to court with your attorney to discuss your charges and to present your defense about why you were in possession of prescription opioids, you could face up to a year in jail or prison as well as hefty fines. The charge will also be on your criminal background, which means that it could be difficult to obtain employment after court or after you serve your sentence.
After being charged with prescription opioid possession, the details of your charges, such as whether it will be a misdemeanor or a felony, often depend on the weight of the product that you had in your possession at the time of your arrest. The number of pills that you have usually doesn’t dictate the type of charge that you receive as much as the weight of them does. However, each separate drug that you have in your possession can result in a separate charge. If you have multiple drugs in your possession, then you’re likely going to face a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor. This means that you’ll likely spend at least a minimal amount of time in jail and could have to pay fines to the county or state. If you have other items with the drugs, such as plastic bags or a small set of scales, then you could be charged with intent to sell and deliver along with the possession charge.
Most possession of prescription opioid charges start as a misdemeanor whether you obtain the medications from a pharmacist, someone you know, or someone who is considered a dealer. If you knowingly possess these medications without a valid prescription, then the charges will likely hold in court. Your attorney can then work with you to prepare a defense as to why you had them in your possession and what you planned to do with the drugs. If you don’t have a criminal record, then the court could be a bit easier on your sentencing process compared to if you have a lengthy background, especially one that includes prior drug charges.
When you meet with an attorney to discuss your charges and the possible results when you go to court, one of the details that you’ll learn about is the different schedule classifications of opioid drugs. Schedule I drugs are at the top of the list and are often the most serious because of how easy it is to become addicted to them. Heroin and cocaine are included in this list. At the bottom of the list of opioids is Schedule VI drugs. These are not as addictive and often result in misdemeanor charges. Drugs on this list include hash and marijuana. You’ll also discuss what you were doing when you were found with the drugs as this can play a factor in your sentencing and whether or not your charges could be reduced or dismissed.