New York Vicodin
Vicodin, along with Norco and Lortab, are brand names for opioid pain medication that contains hydrocodone. It can be legally prescribed by licensed physicians and dispensed by pharmacists for patients suffering from moderate to severe chronic pain. However, it is habit-forming. Vicodin and OxyContin are among the most abused prescription painkillers in the United States. Vicodin is quite dangerous as it can lead to respiratory problems. It should be avoided by those who have conditions such as asthma, COPD, and sleep apnea. It also impairs thinking and reactions, and should not be used if you need to drive or do anything else that requires you to be alert. Hydrocodone is a narcotic and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. If you have been charged with a drug crime related to Vicodin, hydrocodone, or any other prescription medication you should immediately contact an experienced New York Vicodin Lawyer who understands laws related to drug crimes including prescription drug abuse and who will work closely with you to develop a strong defense to the charges against you.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.Types of Vicodin drug crimes
While Vicodin and other drugs contain hydrocodone can be legally obtained through prescriptions, they are often obtained illegally through doctor shopping, theft, and forged prescriptions. In some cases medical professionals such as doctors and pharmacists are involved in the unlawful distribution of hydrocodone by selling prescriptions to those who do not need it or by dispensing it in an unlawful manner. As a narcotic and controlled substance, if you possess Vicodin or any other form of hydrocodone, or if you sell or distribute it you could face serious felony charges with penalties of several years in prison.
Crimes related to Vicodin and hydrocodone generally fall into 2 main categories: possession
and sale or distribution. Since hydrocodone is a controlled substance, New York's controlled substances laws apply to the possession and sale of Vicodin and other brands of hydrocodone as well as to related crimes.Vicodin possession crimes
New York law prohibits the possession of Vicodin and other brands of hydrocodone without a lawful prescription. If you do, you can be charged with one of several drug possession crimes. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is a class A misdemeanor. It is the only Vicodin possession charge that is not a felony. The maximum possible sentence is up to 1 year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03
Most Vicodin possession crimes are felonies. A conviction on any felony drug possession charge would likely mean a prison sentence. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is the charge you will face if you have at least 1/8 ounce of Vicodin or any other narcotic. It is a class C felony. If convicted the maximum sentence is up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09. If you have at least .5 ounce of Vicodin the charge is more serious. You will face the charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree . It is a class B felony with a maximum possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16.
Once the amount of Vicodin that you have reaches 4 ounces, you face the possibility of going to prison for the rest of your life. If you have at least 4 ounces of Vicodin the charge will be criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree . It is a class A-II felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18. Similarly, if you have at least 8 ounces of Vicodin or other brand of hydrocodone, you will be charged with c riminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree . This is a class A-I felony with a possible sentence of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21Sale of Vicodin offenses
Distributing drugs is a more serious offense than possessing drugs. Each selling offense is a felony meaning that if you are convicted there is a greater likelihood that you will be sentenced to prison. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree is the minimum charge that you could face for selling Vicodin or any other type of hydrocodone. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39. It is a class B felony. The possible sentence is up to 25 years in prison. If you sell .5 ounce of Vicodin you will face a charge of c riminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.41. If convicted, the maximum sentence is life in prison. You will also face a life sentence if you sell at least 2 ounces. The charge would be c riminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.43
If you are a doctor, dentist and other type of medical professional and you write a prescription for Vicodin for someone who does not need it, or if you sell a Vicodin prescription, you could face a charge related to unlawfully issuing a prescription. Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance is the knowing and unlawful selling of a prescription for a controlled substance. It is a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.65
Intent to sell Vicodin can be deduced from the amount of it that you possess. If you have so much Vicodin that it is clear to the police that you do not intend to use it yourself, but to sell it, then you will be charged with possession with intent to sell as well as a drug selling charge. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is an intent to sell charge. It is the charge you will face if you have a narcotic such as Vicodin and you intend to sell it. It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16Sentencing
The penalty that you will receive for a Vicodin drug crime or a drug crime related to other brands of hydrocodone will be determined based on factors such as the classification of the crime as well as your prior criminal history. If you have one or more prior felony convictions, the law requires that you be sentenced to at least a minimum amount of prison time.
Those who commit drug crimes are often addicted to prescription painkillers such as Vicodin. Recognizing this, New York offers an alternative sentencing program called Drug Treatment Court to eligible defendants who suffer from substance abuse. In addition to having an addiction problem, other eligibility requirements include:
- You must agree to a plea agreement that requires you to plead guilty to your pending criminal charge
- Your pending criminal charge must be a B, C, D, or E felony
- Your substance abuse problem is a contributing factor to your criminal activity
- You must be likely to benefit from the Drug Treatment Court program
- You must not have had a violent felony conviction in the last 10 years
If you abide by all of the conditions associated with Drug Treatment Court and successfully complete the program, then the judge will take this into consideration when sentencing you for your pending charge.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Crimes associated with prescription drug abuse carry sentences that could land you in prison so that you are away from your family and friends for many years. Even if your sentence is relatively light you will still have a criminal record that includes a felony drug conviction. If you have been charged with a Vicodin drug crime, it is critical that you contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of crimes related to prescription drugs. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of prescription drug crimes, Vicodin crimes, drug possession, drug distribution, drug manufacturing, and other drug offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.