Defending Against Opioid Drug Charges

By Brock Benjamin
Founding Attorney

What are the penalties for possession of oxycodone?

Opioid drug use has become an epidemic in recent years, due in large part to the generous prescription of painkillers. Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal drugs like heroin, but also comprise prescription pain relievers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. In Texas, several counties have declared themselves in the midst of an opioid crisis. Opioid overdoses are up nearly 28 percent. Many people who take opioid drugs are trapped in the throes of addiction, often stemming from an accident or chronic pain. Texas has taken a harsh stance on the possession and distribution of opioid drugs due to the serious problem with these drugs that exists in the state. Our El Paso, Texas criminal drug defense lawyers explain the penalties for opioid drug charges in the state and how you can defend against these charges below.

Possession of Opiates in Texas

Texas law places both illegal opiates and prescription opiates in the same category. These drugs are classified as the most dangerous type of controlled substance, meaning that possession of opioids carries the harshest penalties. Prescription opioid painkillers will only be considered legal for those with a valid prescription from a licensed doctor in the state of Texas. If you are stopped and found to be in possession of any opioid painkillers without a prescription, you can be charged with possession of a dangerous controlled substance.
In addition to possession of opioids, it is illegal to forge a prescription to obtain the drugs, purchase the drugs on the black market, take medication from a friend or family member, or doctor shop to obtain excess of the medication. Possession of any opioid drug could lead to serious criminal charges.

Penalties for Possession or Distribution of Opioids in Texas

Possession or distribution of opioid drugs in the state of Texas will result in a felony charge. Opioid-related felonies are classified as Penalty Group 1 offenses, meaning that they carry the most severe of penalties. The precise penalty you face will depend on the amount and type of drugs you possessed or distributed. In general, even possession of a small amount of opiate can lead to several years in prison. Distribution of large amounts of these drugs could result in up to 99 years in prison.
Defending against an opioid drug charge will require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney may challenge the legality of the stop that lead to your arrest, the quantity of the drugs, whether you were in fact in possession, and many other factors. Take swift action after your arrest to protect your legal rights.

About the Author
Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice is primarily state and federal criminal law and appeals.Brock 

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense