The police have taken a much harder line on drugs of all kind over the last few decades. In particular, prescription drugs and controlled substances have come under greater scrutiny. Among these substances is codeine. While codeine may be legal in a number of different settings, there are some times in which the possession or consumption of codeine is actually a crime. The lines can be blurred on this drug. Unlike cocaine, heroin, or some other hard drugs, codeine brings to bear much ambiguity. Those who’ve been charged with codeine-related offenses need a good lawyer to guide them through the difficult process. There are many potential charges related to codeine. Here are a few.
Possession of codeine that belongs to someone else
When you use codeine as a pain killer, you have to make sure it’s your own. Possession of codeine that belongs to someone else is a crime, and can be charged as a felony. This is true whether you have stolen the codeine or whether you have permission from a friend or family member to use it. It is only legal to use codeine if it has been prescribed to you by a doctor. People using the substance should be careful to keep their records at all times, especially if driving in a car. These records will help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Obtaining codeine by non-disclosure to doctors
One of the most common ways that people get squeezed on codeine charges is by acquiring different quantities of the drug from many different doctors without telling them that another doctor has prescribed the drug. A single doctor will only prescribe enough of the drug to ensure that you can get through a period of pain. This amount will be small enough that it will be difficult for any person to begin abusing the drug. Some people will go to multiple doctors and get many different small quantities. Doing so is a crime and can be prosecuted as a felony.
Selling or transporting codeine
Some of the most serious charges come when people decide to sell their own prescribed amount of codeine. When a doctor prescribes codeine to you, it must be used by you. Even giving away the drug to someone else can leave you facing felony charges. These charges will usually be based on the quantity you supplied or transported. Larger quantities can lead to more serious charges. There is a difference under the law in being a small-time drug seller and being a major mover of codeine. Understand that you can face many years in prison if you are convicted of this crime.
Felony consequences for misuse of codeine
Because any of these acts implicates drug law, you can expect to face felony charges if you are found out. While many states have cut back on their prosecution and punishment of low-level marijuana possession, they have not been so kind to people caught with controlled substances. In some cases, the punishments have gotten even harsher for these crimes because of public fear of hard drug epidemics. While the range of years in prison you could face for these crimes will vary depending upon the circumstances and your history, many people charged with codeine-related crimes could be looking at jail time.
Good lawyers help people who are charged with these crimes. Coming up with a specific, targeted plan can make all the difference. In some cases, it can be possible to work with prosecutors to reduce the charges. In other cases, it might be necessary to fight things out in court. A solid criminal defense lawyer can guide your steps when you’re caught in this web.