Oxycontin Possession in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the illegal use of Oxycontin (oxycodone) is on the rise. When Oxycontin is abused, it can cause serious problems – health issues, criminal charges, and even death. Read on to learn more about the abuse of Oxycontin and the criminal charges one may face for the illegal possession of Oxycontin in Pennsylvania.
What is Oxycontin?
It is an opiate derivative available by prescription. It comes in pill form and has a time-release effect that gives relief over a 12-hour time period. When used as prescribed, Oxycontin helps cancer patients and chronic pain sufferers manage their pain.
Although Oxycontin is used to treat chronic pain caused by medical conditions, individuals are using the drugs for illegal purposes. For instance, people are crushing the pills to snort or shoot them for a rapid rush that is said to resemble heroin.
When an individual snorts or injects Oxycontin, he or she receives much more of the drug at once than the manufacturer ever intended. This intense high creates problems in a person’s brain, which in turn requires them to seek out more of this intense feeling.
Some locales within Pennsylvania such as Cambria and Blair County have reported between 7-8 deaths from the abuse of Oxycontin. The abuse of Oxycontin is just starting to show up in Pittsburgh and is also becoming more prevalent in Philadelphia.
Oxycontin Possession Charges in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, Oxycontin (oxycodone) is considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance. While Oxycontin is legally prescribed, the illegal possession of the drug can lead to serious arrest charges such as possession of a controlled substance or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (if a person has been charged with selling or distributing prescription drugs to other people).
In order to prove a charge of possession, the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
- The defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance (without a valid prescription);
- The defendant knew that the drug was an illegal controlled substance; and
- The defendant had actual or constructive control or possession of the drug.
Sentencing & Penalties
The chart below illustrates minimum sentencing guidelines and penalties a person may receive if he or she is convicted of the possession of a controlled substance such as oxycodone.
|Narcotics of Schedule 1 or 2||Quantity||1st Conviction||2nd Conviction|
|Oxycodone||2 grams to less than 10 grams||2 years||3 years|
|Oxycodone||10 grams to less than 100 grams||3 years||5 years|
|Oxycodone||100 grams or more.||5 years||7 years|
If you have been charged with the possession of Oxycontin in Norristown, PA, please contact Norristown drug lawyer Basil Beck to discuss your legal rights.
Expungement – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9122
The Pennsylvania Code – Sentencing Guidelines