Vicodin Laws In Michigan
Vicodin is a controlled, prescription pain medication. It contains two important painkillers, acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is a very strong opioid, or narcotic. By itself, acetaminophen is not as strong, but it becomes very strong once combined with hydrocodone.
Illegal use of Vicodin
In the US, Vicodin is used to treat adults with moderate to severe pain. Consuming Vicodin after getting a prescription for it is legal. However, without a prescription, possessing, selling and consuming Vicodin is illegal under Michigan law and also under federal law.
On the streets, Vicodin is often called Vics, Vicos, Watsons, Hydros, Lorris, Tabs, and 357s. People without a prescription sometimes consume Vicodin just to get high. There are various ways that a person can illegally obtain Vicodin. One way is to get it from someone who has a prescription, or to steal it. Some people steal a doctor’s prescription pad to so that they can forge prescriptions and get Vicodin from the pharmacy.
Another practice is known as “doctor shopping.” This occurs when an individual goes from doctor to doctor, complaining about severe pain, and getting each doctor to write a prescription for Vicodin. This is become far less common here in Michigan because all doctors and pharmacies have access now to our MAPS system which allows them to share information about which prescriptions are being prescribed for particular patients.
Even if you have a legal prescription, Vicodin is a very dangerous and extremely addictive drug. You should never consume Vicodin in conjunction with sedatives, tranquilizers, alcohol or other narcotic medications unless directed to do so by your doctor.
It is possible to overdose on Vicodin. This can cause serious damage to your liver, halt your breathing, and cause respiratory failure. Misuse of Vicodin can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death. Vicodin overdose has many signs and symptoms such as nausea, pain in the upper stomach, loss of appetite, itching, clay-colored stools, dark-colored urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Vicodin is a drug that is frequently abused. In fact, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 1 in 20 high school seniors have abused Vicodin. Because Vicodin is so dangerous and yet so widely used, federal laws have recently imposed greater restrictions on drugs containing hydrocodone. Now, the doctor’s office must mail the Vicodin prescription directly to the pharmacy, or the patient can take the written prescription to the pharmacy in person. Doctors are no longer allowed to simply call the prescription into the pharmacy.
Vicodin and Michigan Law
Michigan law classifies Vicodin as a Schedule 3 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Vicodin is considered to be less addictive than many other illegal drugs. It does have approved medical uses, but only those with valid prescriptions should ever use it. A valid prescription would have to be written by a practicing doctor with a state-recognized license.
Anyone arrested for Vicodin use, possession and/or sale in Michigan will face the possibility of serious time behind bars. Michigan law has different penalties for the use, possession, manufacture and delivery (sale) of Vicodin. Potential penalties are outlined below:
Penalty for Illegal Use of Vicodin:
It is a misdemeanor crime to illegally use Vicodin in Michigan. This crime can result in a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.
Penalty for Illegal Possession of Vicodin:
It is a felony drug crime to illegally possess Vicodin in Michigan. If convicted for this crime, you could face up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
Penalty for Illegal Delivery of Vicodin:
In Michigan, it is a felony drug crime to manufacture Vicodin, create Vicodin, deliver Vicodin or possess Vicodin with the intent to manufacture, create, or deliver Vicodin. Any of these crimes could results in up to seven years of prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Enhanced Penalties for Vicodin Violations:
Your Vicodin drug crime penalty could be even more severe, depending on your circumstances. Your sentence could increase depending on factors such as your prior criminal drug record, the age of the person you gave Vicodin to, or whether your Vicodin-related crime occurred near a school, people’s homes, businesses, parks or churches. Additionally, if you are not a doctor but are caught with a doctor’s official prescription form or a forged prescription form, your sentence could be as severe as a sentence involving illegal drugs. You also risk losing your driving privileges for up to a year if you have other recent prior drug convictions. Penalties under the federal law for these offenses are even more severe.
Your Michigan Prescription Drug Defense Attorneys
Because Vicodin drug crimes are so serious, if you are arrested for a drug offense in Michigan, it is vital that you contact us immediately for a free initial consultation.
The Kronzek Firm has aggressive criminal defense attorneys who are ready to protect you and work to keep you out jail or prison. We have helped hundreds of clients all over Michigan for nearly a quarter century. We are available by phone 24/7.
CALL (800) 576-6035
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