In New York, if an individual faces criminal charges for the possession of Vicodin, then it is considered an illegal possession of a controlled substance. The penalties for a possession of a controlled substance, such as Vicodin, can be severe. The charges can range from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class C Felony, which can all result in incarceration. For those who have been charged with a possession of a controlled substance, which includes Vicodin, it is imperative to contact a reputable attorney with experience handling these types of cases.
Vicodin, which is also known as hydrocodone, is a prescription medication that effectively blocks pain. Vicodin is considered highly addictive because of its ability to block pain. Doctors are aware of the risk for addiction, so they may not prescribe individuals the medication, which could lead to individuals obtaining the drug illegally.
What are the Penalties Facing a Vicodin Charge?
According to Article 178 of the New York Penal Law, the legal term for a Vicodin possession charge is called a criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions. As explained in Article 178, an individual who is found guilty of a criminal diversion of prescription medications acted deliberately in illegally selling, distributing, or selling the drug.
There are acts of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions that range from first degree to fourth degree offenses.
Article 178 explains that an indiviudal who is found guilty of a criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree, which is a Class A Misdemeanor, could face a one year prison sentence along with a maximum fine of $1,000.
A third degree charge, which is a Class E Felony, is similar to a fourth degree charge. However, a third degree charge involves a monetary value that is more than $1,000, and the accused has committed the crime twice, which was in the fourth degree. Individuals who face a third degree charge can face up to four years in prison.
In order to be considered a second degree charge, the monetary value that was involved during the arrest must be more than $3,000. A second degree charge is a Class D Felony, which can lead to a seven year prison sentence.
A first degree charge would involve a monetary value that was more than $50,000. This charge is considered a Class C Felony, and it can lead to a fifteen year prison sentence.
The Importance of Contacting an Attorney
If you are facing a criminal charge that involves Vicodin, then it is imperative to seek the help of an attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can help if you have been arrested for illegal possession of a controlled substance, illegal distribution of Vicodin, or possession of Vicodin with the intention to distribute.
If an individual does not have a prescription for Vicodin and is caught with the medication, then it is a violation of federal law and New York law. Even if you are arrested for having less than five Vicodin pills, then you can be charged and may face incarceration. An individual who is charged with Vicodin possession will also have to register as a drug offender, which will have a negative impact on his or her life.
If you are facing a Vicodin charge, then a trusted attorney can advise you of your legal options. With 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Raiser & Kenniff, PC, can provide you with a free consultation.