Drug Offenses: Oxycodone - OxyContin
Orlando Oxycodone - OxyContin Defense Attorney
The prescription opioid epidemic in Florida and throughout the United States has certainly caught the eye of law enforcement and is prosecuted rigorously. Oxycodone is the generic name for the primary opioid ingredient in Oxycontin. In Florida, oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance. Numerous changes have been made in the last 10 years that have impacted clinics, doctors, and patients alike. Having represented users, street dealers, doctors, and clinic owners, the attorneys at NeJame Law have a vast amount of knowledge in the area of prescription drug offenses. Unless you lawfully obtain a valid prescription for Oxycodone, getting caught with it will cause some serious legal problems. The penalties for Oxycodone crimes in Florida may be harsh and life changing. That is why it is so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side!
Possession & Trafficking in Oxycodone: Charges & Penalties Under Florida Law
The criminal penalties range from simple felony possession of Oxycodoneto trafficking in Oxycodone.
Two of the most commonly charged offenses involving oxycodone are listed below:
Possession of Oxycodone
Florida Statute 893.13. Third degree felony. Statutory maximum: five years in prison, 5 years of probation, or combination thereof not to exceed five years, $5,000 fine.
For simple possession of Oxycodone (less than 4 grams), police agencies will arrest and take a person to jail who possesses the substance without a valid prescription. If the accused does not have a prior record, these types of cases may be eligible for a deferred prosecution agreement wherein the charge is dismissed after the accused completes some community service, pays the program fee, and takes a drug class. If the accused has prior offenses on their record, a typical result may be a probation, a substance abuse evaluation, a fine, and court costs. This sounds relatively painless, but it is very important that the judge withhold adjudication on the case so that the judge does not suspend the accused’s driver’s license for a period of one year, which is mandatory on all drug cases where the accused is adjudicated guilty.
Trafficking in Oxycodone
Florida Statute 893.135 All oxycodone trafficking cases have the same statutory penalties, but the minimum mandatory sentences and fines depend on the amount of the drug involved. It is important to note that the aggregate weight of the pills is what determines the trafficking weight, not the dosage or the amount of cut (i.e. acetaminophen) in the pill.
- Statutory maximum: 30 years prison, 30 years of probation, or combination thereof not to exceed 30 years. Florida Statute 893.135(1).
- If the amount is more than four grams, up to 14 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence is three years in prison and a mandatory $50,000 fine.
- If the amount is more than 14 grams up to 28 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence is 15 years in prison and a mandatory $100,000 fine.
- If the amount is more than 28 grams up to 30 kilograms, the minimum mandatory sentence is 25 years in prison and a mandatory $500,000 fine.
Although the legislature has mandated minimum prison sentences and fines, many times an experienced attorney may negotiate a lesser sentence. Sentences will vary depending on the facts of the case, potential defenses, criminal history (if any), and amount of oxycodone involved. However, if the accused is found guilty at trial and is not classified as a youthful offender, the judge MUST sentence them to at least the minimum mandatory penalties as described.
There are several defenses that can be employed when someone is charged with possession of drugs, including oxycodone. A thorough attorney will look at the case from all angles and explore multiple defenses. These defenses include constitutional defenses, such as determining if there was an illegal detention or illegal search and seizure that resulted in the police stopping the accused or discovering the drugs. These defenses are absolute, and if the judge finds that the police conducted an illegal search, the evidence will be suppressed, and the state is forced to drop the case.
Another viable defense for the possession of drugs is challenging the government’s ability to prove the accused had constructive possession of them. Many times, the police find drugs not in a person’s pocket (this would be actual possession) but in a car or house where other people are present. This is referred to as “constructive possession.” In order to prove someone has constructive possession of the contraband, the government has to prove that the person knew of the presence of the drugs and had the ability to control them. Many times, the government is unable to do this based on the exact location of the drugs, where the accused was at the time the drugs were found, if there were other people present, and a lack of other evidence such as admissions, fingerprints, DNA, etc. In some instances, an attorney can even argue that the court should dismiss the case outright and that the government should not even be allowed to prosecute the case further.
Other defenses include entrapment, being unaware of the illicit nature of the substance, medical necessity, prescription defense, commingling of drugs by the government (trafficking cases only), agency theory (authorized to temporarily possess another’s legitimate prescription), and temporary possession.
Exploring and researching these issues can be critical to your possession or trafficking in oxycodone case, and the failure to do so can result in unwarranted convictions and punishment. Many of the scenarios that come before us fall into a “gray area” where it is difficult to determine at first glance if the case has viable defenses. The proper research and litigation are crucial to forming a defense strategy. Even in cases where it may seem like a defense is not applicable, there may be enough of an argument that an attorney can file a good faith motion in court. This may help tremendously with negotiations and can play a positive factor in the outcome of the case.
Contact Our Lawyers
Have you or someone you know been accused of possession or trafficking in oxycodone/OxyContin in Orlando? Help is here! We have the knowledge and skills to help you obtain the best possible outcome on your case.