Opioid and Opiate Charges
The Opioid crisis, which has now been linked back to the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the latest generation of opioids, still remains a major problem in the U.S., even after the Department of Justice began prosecuting executives from these companies for racketeering. What happened was drug companies were filling orders for hundreds of thousands of doses for communities that only had a few thousand people. These pills would then be diverted to pill mills and made their way onto the streets. Meanwhile, millions of Americans were fighting off addiction after they were prescribed medicine by their doctors. The doctors were told that the latest generation of opioids was “less addictive” than the prior generations. The same claim was made of heroin when it was synthesized at the end of the 19th century.
Opioid and Opiate Charges in Indiana
The terms ‘opiate’ and ‘opioid’ are not clinically distinguishable. It used to be that ‘opiate’ referred to derivatives of opium (the plant) and ‘opioids’ were considered synthetic variations. Today, almost all opium-derived medicine is synthetic. This includes heroin, fentanyl, and Oxycontin, which are the three most abused opioids in the U.S.
While Indiana still maintains harsh drug laws, it is becoming more commonplace for upstanding folks to become addicted to the substances provided to them by their doctors. The law provides some leeway here for those who turn to the streets after their doctor cuts off their supply.
Penalties for Opioid Possession
- Less than three grams – Is considered a class-a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in county jail.
- More than three, less than 10 – Is considered a level-6 felony punishable by up to two and a half to five years.
- More than 10, less than 28 – Is considered a level-5 felony punishable by up to six years in prison.
The penalties continue to increase one felony degree higher as the weight continues to rise. Further, those who are found in possession of opioids within so many feet of a church, school, or another protected area will face felony charges one degree higher than they otherwise would. These laws tend to be unfair as they target the inner city populations where folks are more densely packed together than rural or suburban places.
Finding a Competent and Compassionate Lawyer
While the law wants to curb addiction and opioid use, the sad truth is that a lot of the folks who are now afflicted with opioid addiction came to it by way of their doctor’s recommendations. Since opioid and heroin addiction is beginning to hurt affluent suburban communities, the penalties for these charges are diminishing, and criminal law attorneys have more leeway to advocate for their clients who have generally suffered enough and just need help overcoming the addiction.
Still, felony charges related to possession will impact your future employment prospects and even your ability to find housing. Call The Bellinger Law Office today to defend yourself from the charges and allow us to begin building your defense immediately.