The opioid crisis facing our country has hit Maryland particularly hard. As a result, Maryland authorities take the possession, and especially the distribution, of illegal opioids like Oxycodone very seriously. Charges for possession or distribution of oxycodone can result in extremely harsh penalties, including long jail sentences.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our Maryland lawyers for Oxycodone possession and distribution have years of experience fighting these charges in state and federal court. We understand that many people who become addicted to this drug start off with it being prescribed legally for chronic pain issues they are experiencing. We will fight to make the authorities understand that you need treatment and support, not jail time. If you have been charged with Oxycodone possession or distribution, call our office today at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.
Oxycodone Possession and Distribution Charges in Maryland
Oxycodone is one of the most commonly abused opioids. In Maryland, it is classified as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are drugs that have a medical purpose in certain instances, but have the potential for abuse. This is in contrast to Schedule I drugs, which Maryland classifies as having no acceptable medical purpose.
While it is completely legal to be in possession of oxycodone if you have a valid prescription from a doctor for the drug, possessing it without a prescription is a crime. As noted above, many people who start out taking this drug on a temporary basis with a doctor’s prescription become addicted and are unable to wean themselves off of it. As a result, they turn to acquiring the drug from illegal sources when their doctor has cut them off. Possession of Oxycodone without a prescription is a misdemeanor.
More serious that mere possession of Oxycodone without a prescription are charges of possession with the intent to distribute, drug distribution, or illegal manufacturing of Oxycodone. These charges are felonies. As such, if you are selling these drugs, or intend to sell them, you will face even more serious penalties. This applies as much to drugs you are prescribed and are selling to those who are not prescribed as to drugs you obtained without a prescription. Even if you give an Oxycodone pill to a friend who is not prescribed the drug and no money is exchanged, you can still be charged with distribution.
Possession with intent to distribute is charged when the police do not have direct evidence that you sold Oxycodone, but rather have circumstantial evidence that indicates you were planning on selling it. For example, if you are found with thousands of Oxycodone pills in your car, the authorities are going to assume that this was not all for personal use. However, an experienced Maryland possession with intent to distribute lawyer like those at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can work to prove that there was no intent to distribute and get the charges reduced to mere possession.
How The Criminal Process Plays Out for Oxycodone Possession and Distribution Charges in Maryland
Simple possession cases will take place is the Maryland district courts. These courts handle a large amount of traffic cases, infractions, and misdemeanors, along with some felonies. The prosecutors in the district court are usually much more overworked and thus much more willing to strike a deal to avoid trial than those in the circuit courts, where felony cases like possession with the intent to distribute or drug distribution usually take place.
In either court, the first appearance you will make after you have been arrested is at an arraignment where the judge will read the charges against you, inform you of your rights, and ask if you would like to plead guilty or not guilty. At this point, your lawyer is likely to advise you to plead not guilty so they will have time to collect evidence, assess the strength of the case against you, and try to work out a deal with the prosecutor.
For first time offenders who are charged with possession only, our attorneys are commonly able to work out a deal with the prosecutors where you enter a pre-trial diversion program that requires you to attend drug addiction treatment. If you complete this treatment successfully, the charges against you will be dropped. In other cases, we will try to work out a deal where your charges are downgraded, or the prosecutor agrees to recommend a lenient sentence in exchange for you giving up your right to a trial.
If a deal cannot be reached to your satisfaction, we are ready and able to take your case to trial.
Penalties for Possession and Distribution of Oxycodone in Maryland
For the misdemeanor crime of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance like Oxycodone, you can face up to 4 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. The amount of the drug you possessed and any prior criminal record you have will factor heavily in sentencing decisions.
For the felony crimes of distribution or possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance like Oxycodone, you can face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. If you are found to be a “high volume” seller or a “kingpin,” meaning you run an operation selling a large amount of the drug, you can receive even higher penalties due to sentence enhancement laws.
If You Have Been Charged with Possession or Distribution of Oxycodone, Call Our Experienced Maryland Defense Attorneys Today
As the opioid crisis has ravaged communities across Maryland and caused the premature deaths of numerous young people, police and prosecutors have begun to take charges related to the illegal possession and distribution of drugs like Oxycodone very seriously. It is not uncommon for judges to impose the harshest possible sentences for these crimes, especially when they involve distribution of the drug. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our skilled Maryland lawyers for Oxycodone possession and distribution have successfully defended clients against these charges across the state. We will work to get you into treatment for your addiction, rather that let you be sent behind bars. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.