Vicodin or Hydrocodone is officially classified as an opiate under Schedule II of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. [Cal. Health & Safety Code §11055(b)]. Simple possession for personal use of vicodin is punishable either as a misdemeanor under California Business & Professions Code §4060 by up to one (1) year in imprisonment in county jail, or as a felony by a sentence of up to three (3) years of incarceration in state prison. [Cal. Health & Safety Code §11350(a)]. Vicodin or Hydrocodone is considered a particularly dangerous and harmful substance even though it is a common prescription drug and a widely used and apparently effective pain killer. Consequently, possession or purchase of vicodin for sale is punishable by up to four (4) years in state prison. [Cal. Health & Safety Code §11351]. Selling, distributing, importing or simply transporting vicodin, even if transportation is for personal use, can carry a state prison sentence of up to four (4) years. [Cal. Health & Safety Code §11352]. Transportation for the purpose of sales between noncontiguous counties carries a maximum sentence of up to nine (9) years in state prison. [Cal. Health & Safety Code §11352(b)].
If you are facing a criminal investigation, or criminal charges for possession of vicodin or any other drug or narcotic have already been filed against you, a friend or a family member, we advise you most strongly to contact a criminal defense attorney in order to thoroughly evaluate your situation and explore your options. It is possible that an investigation or charges against you might be dismissed because the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, or because of some other reason. In the event chances for complete dismissal of the criminal charges are not great, you should know about your options for alternative pleas and sentencing. For example, you should know that first time drug and narcotics offenders, and individuals who do not have a significant past criminal record, especially in situations involving simple possession for personal use, are often eligible to be sentenced to a drug treatment program without serving any time in county jail or state prison. Alternative sentencing options include programs such as the state financed Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) also known as PC 1000, Proposition 36 or a private outpatient or residential treatment program of your choice if approved by the Court. You also might be eligible for formal or informal (also known as summary) probation with or without a treatment program. Probation might include some custody in county, city or private jail.