For the past several decades the United States has waged the “War on Drugs” across the country in an attempt to eliminate the influx of, and use of, illegal drugs in the country. Originally, the focus of the War on Drugs was drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. In more recent years, however, prescription drugs have taken center stage in the War on Drugs. Oxycodone, in particular, has been target by law enforcement agencies across the country, including the State of Tennessee. If you have been arrested and charged with an offense related to Oxycodone you need to know the punishment for the possession or sale of Oxycodone in Tennessee.
Oxycodone is the active ingredient on OxyContin, a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. If you have a valid prescription for OxyContin, or another related medication, you may, of course, legally possess your own medication. If, however, you do not have a valid prescription the possession of Oxycodone in any form is illegal. Furthermore, the sale or distribution of Oxycodone, even if you have a prescription, is also illegal.
Like most states, the State of Tennessee imposes increasing penalties for an Oxycodone related conviction, depending on whether you are convicted of simple possession, possession with intent to sell, or another related offense. Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-418 makes it a crime to knowingly possess or casually exchange OxyContin, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or physician’s order. Usually, a first or second offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
T.C.A. § 39-17-417 makes it illegal to knowingly sell, deliver or manufacture OxyContin. Also like most states, Tennessee divides “controlled dangerous substances”, or CDS, into seven schedules, with schedule I substances having a “high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value.” Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses. Oxycodone is a Schedule II CDS, making the sale, delivery, or manufacture a Class C felony in most cases, punishable by three to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000. If, however, you have over 200 grams of Oxycodone in your possession the offense is elevated to a Class B felony and over 2000 grams makes the offense a Class A felony.
Certain facts and circumstances can also increase the potential penalties for the sale or distribution of Oxycodone. For example, selling to a minor or selling in a “Drug Free” zone, such as close to a school or park, will elevate the offense to a higher felony with correspondingly harsher penalties.
If you have been charged with possession or sale of Oxycodone in the State of Tennessee it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.