Vicodin is the brand name for hydrocodone which is a narcotic opioid. It’s classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. It can only be legally obtained by a prescription from a doctor. It’s intended for use as a painkiller, and it’s widely used and abused throughout New York City. Vicodin highly addictive, and it can impair cognitive abilities and reaction time. Should a person overdose on it, he or she will simply stop breathing and die.
Obtaining Vicodin Illegally
The most common way for a person who is addicted to Vicodin to obtain the medication is by doctor shopping. If one doctor won’t give it to a person, another doctor might. Theft of prescription pads or forms or the drug itself is also common. Vicodin is also bought and sold on the street.
Charging Illegal Possession of Vicodin
The illegal possession of Vicodin can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. New York Penal Law section 220.03 allows the misdemeanor charge. Under that section, a person who is found to be in illegal possession of Vicodin can be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail along with a fine of up to $1,000. All other charges of illegally possessing Vicodin are felonies. Those are detained in New Work Penal Code section 220.06 to 220.21. Those can range from one year in prison to life in prison.
Actual Possession and Constructive Possession
A person can be in actual possession or constructive possession of Vicodin. If he or she is charged with being in actual possession of the drug, it was in their hand, pocket, shoe or so close to the person that dominion and control of it could be immediate. If a person is accused of being in constructive possession of Vicodin, more than one person is present. The defendant might have been a passenger in a car, and a police search pursuant to a traffic stop revealed a quantity of the drug in the glove compartment or console. The person might even have been the a home of a friend when a search warrant was executed, and illegal drugs were found under a chair. That’s the difference between actual possession and constructive possession, but for purposes of sentencing, there is no difference.
Possession of Vicodin With the Intent to Sell
The intent to sell Vicodin is often inferred from a totality of the circumstances. A person would be charged pursuant to New York Penal Law section 220.16. For instance, a person might be illegally in possession of Vicodin, but he or she has 10 packages of it with 10 pills in each bag. Even being in possession of an unusually large quantity of Vicodin might be enough evidence to show the intent to sell it. A conviction in either case is likely to result in an extended prison sentence.
The illegal sale of Vicodin is far more serious than possessing it. As per New York Penal Law section 220.39, the least that a person who sold Vicodin could be charged with is a class B felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. A person who is convicted of selling one-half of an ounce or more of the drug faces life in prison.
Upon any drug arrest in New York, don’t give the police a statement or confession of any kind. Immediately invoke your right to remain silent along with your right to an attorney, and call the Bronx Vicodin possession lawyers at our offices at your first opportunity, and arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’re going to listen to you carefully and answer your questions. After examining all of the evidence, we’ll advise you of your legal options and what we think we might be able to do for you. Even if you plead guilty or are found guilty, alternative sentences are available that might operate to keep you out of jail or prison. Remember, don’t give police a statement or confession. It will only be used against you to try and convict you. Contact our offices right away after any drug arrest.
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