Oxycodone Drug Crimes in Seattle
Many people associate drugs crimes with illegal drugs, but law enforcement officials have noticed a growing trend in the United States of abuse of prescription drugs. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), one of the most commonly abused drugs in the U.S. is Oxycodone. The name brand of Oxycodone is called OxyContin. In their Drug Facts information sheet for the drug, the DEA states the following:
Oxycodone is marketed alone as OxyContin® in 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg controlled release tablets and other immediate release capsules like 5 mg OxyIR®. It is also marketed in combination products with aspirin such as Percodan® or acetaminophen such as Roxicet®.
Oxycodone is an opiate that is typically prescribed for pain. However, due to its heroin-like effect when abused orally or intravenously, it is commonly the subject of prescription fraud and drug possession crimes. In 2001 the National Drug Intelligence Center found that Oxycodone emergency room reports increased by 32.4% from 1997 to 1999. It was also found to be very profitable when sold on the black market. A bottle of pills purchased for $400 at the pharmacy can be sold for $2,000 to $4,000 illegally. This makes Oxycodone prescription drug fraud very lucrative.
The penalties for Oxycodone offenses are very serious and can lead to felony charges. If you have been accused of an Oxycodone crime in Seattle, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.
Washington Oxycodone Drug Crimes
Illegal drugs in the United States are classified under several Schedules of drugs depending on several factors. Under Washington Law RCW 69.50.206 Oxycodone is listed as a Schedule II drug. Other drugs in this class include Morphine and Codeine. The criteria for Schedule II drugs under RCW 69.50.205 are as follows:
(1) the substance has high potential for abuse;
(2) the substance has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; and
(3) the abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Any drug crime under the Uniform Controlled Substance Act that involves Oxycodone / OxyContin will lead to steep penalties. Most VUCSA crimes are felonies. RCW 69.50.401 states that it is a crime to “manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance.” Violation of this law involving Oxycodone will result in a Class B felony.
The penalties for this crime include incarceration of not more than 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000 if the crime involved less than2 kilograms of the drug or a maximum fine of $100,000 with an additional $50 for each gram over 2 kilograms if the crime involved 2 kilograms or more.
In addition to possession and distribution of the drug, it is also a crime to attempt to get access to a prescription drug for non-medical purposes. This is referred to as prescription drug fraud and involves a number of offenses. Some of the most common prescription drug fraud offenses include forging prescriptions, doctor shopping, stealing prescription pads, and supplying false registration numbers. Even something that seems as little as changing the name on a prescription can lead to a charge of prescription drug fraud in Washington. Any doctor, pharmacy employee or medical professional that allows or takes part in drug fraud can also be charged with a crime.
Prescription drug fraud involving Oxycodone / OxyContin is a Class C felony offense that carries very steep penalties. Lawmakers look to crack down on prescription drug fraud just as they do with illegal drug trade. The sentencing for a Class C crime under VUCSA includes a jail sentence of up to 2 years and a fine of up to $2,000. In addition to these penalties, an offender may also be sentenced to drug addiction evaluation and treatment, random drug testing and more. Perhaps the longest lasting effect of a felony conviction is the stigma of being a convicted felon. A felony on a person's criminal record can lead to them being passed over for jobs, loans, housing, school admissions and more. Once convicted, the only way to remove a felony from your criminal record is to have it expunged, this can be a long and difficult process and an expungement is not always granted.
The best way to avoid the penalties of a drug charge and keep your criminal record clean is to fight the charges and get a not guilty verdict. In order to do this, you will need the best criminal defense possible. Attorney Steve Karimi is a former Washington State prosecutor. He knows what it takes to successfully fight these offenses and get the best results possible. Call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi now to set up a free consultation and to find out more about your charges.