The War on Drugs in the United States has been raging for four decades. During that time, laws have become stricter and the penalties more severe. In addition, the types of drugs that are most commonly involved in the drug trade have changed over the years. Currently, Oxycodone is a common prescription drug that is often sold and used illegally across the United States. The punishment for trafficking Oxycodone in California can be serious. If you have been charged with a trafficking offense in California make sure you contact an experienced California drug lawyer immediately. In the meantime, some basic information about trafficking offenses and penalties may be helpful.
Oxycodone, along with most other legal and illegal drugs, is a controlled substance. You can be charged by the federal government, the State of California, or both for trafficking in Oxycodone. At the federal level, Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule II drug is one with a currently-accepted medical use with a high potential for abuse and significant risk of addiction. Oxycodone is typically prescribed for patients with serious pain; however, it is illegal to possess, transport or sell without a valid prescription. Trafficking in Oxycodone is a felony at the federal level, punishable by five to 20 years in prison.
Trafficking in a controlled substance, in this case Oxycodone is also a felony under the laws of the State of California. The penalties for trafficking in Oxycodone can include probation and up to a year in the county jail or a three to five year prison sentence. If you are convicted of a trafficking offense and you transported the drugs across two or more county lines you face a three, six, or nine year term of incarceration. In addition, if you sold the drugs near a school, public park, or certain other locations where children are typically present, your sentence could be aggravated. Your own criminal history can also be used to increase your sentence if you are convicted.
Although the amount of controlled substance involved in the case is certainly relevant when you are charged with a trafficking offense, there are other factors that can also lead to a conviction for trafficking. The presence of items such as scales, baggies or other packaging material, ledgers showing debts, or a large amount of cash may also be used by the prosecution to prove intent to sell a controlled substance.
If you have been charged with trafficking Oxycodone, you should contact an experienced California defense attorney right away to find out what defenses may be available and to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the prosecution of your case.