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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Dilaudid® is a prescription medication known generically as hydromorphone. It is a narcotic medication that is used for moderate to severe pain relief. Like oxycodone, its potential for abuse has made some physicians in Lubbock wary of prescribing it.
A time-release version of hydromorphone proved to be dangerous when mixed with alcohol and is no longer marketed. The drug is therefore less popular with illicit users than OxyContin®, a time-release formulation of oxycodone that is abused by users who chew the tablets to defeat the drug’s time-release properties and increase the drug’s immediate impact.
Hydromorphone sold by dealers or used illicitly is usually stolen from pharmacies or clinics, obtained by using forged prescriptions, or purchased from patients who have legitimate prescriptions. Since hydromorphone has a legitimate medical use but is perceived as having a high risk of abuse and addiction, it is listed in Schedule II of the Texas Controlled Substance Schedules.
All offenses in Texas involving hydromorphone, regardless of quantity, are classified as felonies. Penalties depend upon the crime and the quantity of hydromorphone involved in the crime.
A federal sentence for distributing (or possessing with intent to distribute) hydromorphone depends upon whether the defendant has a prior drug conviction under state or federal law and whether a serious injury or death resulted from use of the distributed drug. If serious injury or death results from the distribution of hydromorphone, a mandatory minimum penalty applies.
- No injury
- First offense: Maximum sentence of 20 years.
- Second or subsequent offense: Maximum sentence of 30 years.
- Serious injury or death:
- First offense: Minimum sentence of 20 years, maximum of life.
- Second or subsequent offense: Minimum sentence of life.
Therefore, the maximum penalties described above may increase substantially and different mandatory minimum penalties may apply if:
- The drug was distributed to a person under the age of 21;
- The drug was distributed to a pregnant woman;
- Minors were employed to assist in the commission of the offense; or
- Distribution occurred near a protected area.
Simple Possession Penalties
“Simple possession” is the term used to describe possession of a drug for personal use, not with the intent to distribute the drug to others. The range of sentences available for simple possession of hydromorphone depends upon whether the defendant has a prior conviction for a drug offense under state or federal law.
- First offense: Maximum sentence of one year.
- Second offense: Minimum sentence of 15 days, maximum of two years.
- Third or subsequent offense: Minimum sentence of 90 days, maximum of three years.
Be Sure To Have a Lubbock Drug Lawyer Defend You
In conclusion, all narcotic offenses are taken seriously in Lubbock courts. If you are accused of a crime involving hydromorphone. Therefore, call Texas Criminal Defense Group to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.