After an injury, doctors may prescribe patients opioids to help manage their pain. Some people can stop taking these powerful medications without a problem once they’ve recovered. Yet, others develop an addiction to them.
If you find yourself battling an opioid addiction, you may end up facing possession charges. In this case, it’s important to understand the penalties you may face and the defenses you have available. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney can help you work through them.
If you’re caught possessing opioids without a medical prescription, they qualify as a narcotic drug. In New York, you will face a class A-1 felony – the most serious possible drug charge – for possessing more than eight ounces of opioids. This charge could lead you to receive a prison sentence between 8 and 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000. If you’re caught with a smaller quantity of opioids, your consequences will be less severe. But you will still likely receive a sentence between one and nine years and fines of up to $30,000, depending on the amount you possessed.
Narcotic possession is a serious crime, and the defenses against it are few. You may have a medical prescription for opioids written for you by a doctor. Yet, if you’re caught abusing it for recreational purposes, you may still incur penalties. You may also have received charges for possessing a small quantity of opioids. In this case, you could argue that the quantity was insufficient to warrant punishment. But this defense will only stand if the quantity of opioids you possessed was less than one-half of one ounce.