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Crimes Involving Oxycodone/Oxycotin

What is Oxycodone and Oxycontin?

Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic (painkiller) that works to decrease one’s perception and tolerance to pain. Opioids are the chemical equivalent of opiates, which include drugs such as morphine. Morphine is extracted from the opium poppy seed of the poppy plant and is used to manufacture drugs such as heroine. Side effects of oxycodone may include constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, heartburn, lightheadedness, nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. Because of the potential for dependency and the "feeling of euphoria" experienced by those who take oxycodone, there is a very high potential for abuse of this drug.

Oxycontin is simply an "extended release" or "time release" version of oxycodone. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in oxycontin, but it is prepared in a manner that allows the drug to be gradually released into the blood stream. This is why oxycontin often contains a larger amount of oxycodone than other drugs containing the same ingredient (such as Percocet). Those who abuse oxycontin will often try to crush the drug, circumventing the intended "time release" aspect of the medication. They will then often snort (inhale) or place the powder under the tongue to speed the rate at which it is absorbed into the blood stream.

What is the penalty for illegal possession or distribution of Oxycodone/Oxycontin?

The penalty for illegal possession or distribution of this drug varies, but possession of any quantity may result in a jail or prison term. For those found in possession of any narcotic, they are usually prosecuted for either simple possession, possession with intent to sell, or transportation of narcotics. Simple possession typically carries the smallest penalty of the three. A suspect is typically charged with the intent to sell based on either the amount of the narcotic in their possession or by the way it has been packaged.

In Colorado, penalties could range from a small fine (for simple possession) to many years in a federal prison (possession with intent to sell). If you are in a position of trust (such as a doctor or nurse), it is also more likely that you will receive a maximum sentence, if found guilty. Not to mention the loss of your license to practice medicine. If convicted of the intent to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, a defendant could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1,000,000 fine, for each count.

What should you do if you are arrested because of illegal possession of Oxycodone/Oxycontin?

If you are arrested because of illegal possession of this drug, it is best to both exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. No attorney can promise to make all charges disappear. However, a good attorney can be the difference between being charged with simple possession or possession with the intent to sell, which is likely an enormous difference in the penalties you will face. It is also important that you deal with an attorney that has a great deal of experience in this particular area.

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