Fentanyl is one of the most powerful and addictive painkillers available. It is also among the most dangerous drugs on the market, and even a small amount can lead to a fatal overdose. Doctors prescribe fentanyl for anesthetic purposes during surgery but also for patients who are suffering from chronic, persistent pain — such as cancer patients. It creates a euphoric effect in those patients, and the drug can help those who suffer with pain that other opioids do not relieve.
However, because of the powerful feeling of euphoria it produces, fentanyl has a high potential for misuse. Therefore, both Texas and federal governments have established severe restrictions and penalties for crimes involving fentanyl. If you are facing charges involving fentanyl, you have every right to be concerned about your future.
Penalties you may face
As with penalties for most controlled substances, the severity of the consequences you face for a conviction depend on the amount of the drug involved and your intentions for using the drug. For example, someone convicted of having a small amount of fentanyl for personal use may receive a lesser sentence than someone convicted of possession of a significant amount that he or she intends to sell. Even if you have a prescription for fentanyl, you may risk criminal charges under the following circumstances:
- You purchase the drug illegally instead of using a valid prescription.
- You obtain an amount of fentanyl greater than what your prescription allows.
- You are in possession of prescription fentanyl, but the prescription has expired.
- Police suspect you are trying to sell your legally prescribed fentanyl.
- You have fentanyl in your possession, but you are not carrying it in the original container with the prescription information on it, such as keeping it in your pocket or in a baggie.
Possessing fentanyl without a prescription, even something as innocent as holding someone else’s prescription, may lead to serious trouble. A conviction for a misdemeanor can result in costly fines and the risk of jail time. A felony conviction may cost you millions in fines and lead to a prolonged prison term — in some cases up to life behind bars.
These penalties are too great to risk handling them without the skill and experience of an attorney who understands Texas drug laws. With quality legal representation, you may be better able to put this phase of life behind you and look forward to a more hopeful future.