Oxycodone is a powerful pain medication that medical professionals may legally prescribe in Virginia. Federal and Virginia laws about oxycodone refer to all brand names of the drug, including but not limited to Oxycontin, Percocet, and Percodan.
It does not violate federal or state law for a healthcare provider to prescribe oxycodone for an accepted medical use, nor does it violate the law when a patient possesses or uses oxycodone as prescribed.
However, oxycodone is considered a Schedule II controlled substance by the Controlled Substances Act. That means that the federal government identifies oxycodone as having a high risk of potential abuse and addiction. Accordingly, the government tightly regulates the manufacturing, distribution, and possession of oxycodone.
Federal Oxycodone Criminal Laws
Federal law prohibits:
- Simple possession of oxycodone. Possession of oxycodone without a valid prescription is a federal misdemeanor. You could face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for your first offense. The potential prison term increases to up to two years for your second drug offenses and up to three years for subsequent drug offenses.
- Possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. If you have significant amounts of oxycodone, then the prosecution may argue that you intended to sell or distribute the drug. The potential penalty for possession with intent to distribute oxycodone includes up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for your first offense. If you have a prior drug offense on your criminal record, then the possible sentence increases to 30 years, and if someone was seriously hurt or killed by the oxycodone, then you could face life in prison.
- Sale or distribution of oxycodone. If the government proves that you sold, attempted to sell, distributed, or attempted to transfer oxycodone, then you may face the same penalties as someone who had possession with intent to distribute the drug.
Additional penalties are possible if oxycodone is distributed near a school or to a person under the age of 21.
Virginia Oxycodone Criminal Laws
Virginia law also makes certain oxycodone acts a crime, including:
- Transporting oxycodone into Virginia. Virginia Code § 18.2-248.01 makes it a crime to transport more than one ounce of a Schedule II controlled substance, such as oxycodone, into Virginia with the intent to sell or distribute it. The potential penalty is 5 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Second and subsequent offenses include a mandatory minimum 10-year term of imprisonment.
- Possession of oxycodone in Virginia. Virginia Code §18.2-250 makes possession of a Schedule II drug, including oxycodone, a class 5 felony. A class 5 felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Distributing oxycodone in Virginia. Virginia Code §18.2 -248 prohibits manufacturing, selling, giving, or distributing a controlled substance, including oxycodone. The possible penalty for a first conviction is 5 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The consequences for subsequent convictions may include life in prison. The sentence might be even more significant if the distribution was made to a minor who was three years younger than the distributor or done near a school (See Virginia Code §§ 18.2 -255 and 18.2-255.2.)
Other drug charges, including conspiracy, may be brought in by the Commonwealth in some cases.
Contact a Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Oxycodone Case
Above, we outlined federal and Virginia criminal oxycodone laws. Just because you are charged with one or more of these crimes does not mean you will be convicted.
There are potential defenses in oxycodone criminal cases. Our experienced Fairfax drug offense attorneys can thoroughly investigate the charges against you and raise any potential defenses to help you protect your future.
Please take the first step in your defense today by contacting us for a free initial consultation. You can reach us by phone at (703) 352-0100, by clicking the Live Chat button on this page, or by completing our contact form to have us contact you.