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Vicodin is a medication that is often used to control pain. There are some who will sell the medication or use it in excess. When the drug is used in excess and the person makes the decision to get behind the wheel of a car, then the person could be charged with a DUI as this would be driving under the influence. There are a few different types of offenses related to Vicodin in the state of California and Los Angeles area, each with its own punishment.
One of the ways that people can be charged is to have Vicodin in their possession without a prescription. This often means that the person has bought the drug from another who is selling the medication. Another way to be charged is to have a higher dose in the person’s possession than is prescribed. Some will trade a medication that is a lower dose for one that is higher in order to get a stronger effect from the drug without going to a doctor to get the prescription legally changed. Possessing Vicodin with the intent to sell is also a crime along with transporting the drug from one location to another. The person doesn’t need to have an intent to sell the drug if it’s being transported from the seller to the buyer.
Those who are in possession of Vicodin, a controlled substance, without a prescription are violating Health and Safety Code 11350. The person could be charged with a misdemeanor if there is a different dosage of the medication present or if there are more pills in a container than have been prescribed by they doctor. Having more than one prescription from several doctors could also result in a misdemeanor.
If the person is convicted of the possession, then the punishment could be up to one year in jail. There could also be a fine of up to $1,000. If it’s a first offense, then there is a possibility of probation or some kind of drug intervention so that the person does not go to jail.
Possession of Vicodin with an intent to sell is a felony. There are a few factors that must be considered when deciding whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. The quantity of the drug is looked at or whether it’s an amount more than the average person would take. If the Vicodin is separated into small bags or if there is other drug paraphernalia in the person’s possession, then it will likely be seen as a felony because the person will be seen as having intent to sell or distribute. If the person is charged with a felony possession of Vicodin, then the sentence could be up to four years in jail. Fines are usually higher than $1,000, sometimes up to $20,000. A diversion program is usually not an option for a felony charge.
An attorney will examine the evidence that has been presented. A lesser charge could be an option if the person agrees to drug classes, but this is often only an option for those who don’t have a criminal background. The attorney can try to get the sentence lowered for those who have been charged with a felony if there is no prior history of drug abuse or other crimes.