What You Should Know About Your Heroin Charge

Man being arrested for drug possessionIf you or a loved one was recently arrested on heroin possession, or if you face charges for manufacturing or delivering the substance in Texas, you are likely very concerned as to the penalties and sentences you could receive if you’re convicted.

Texas regards possession of any amount of heroin as a felony, and you have the right to be concerned. You also need to understand all that you can about the charges against you.

Criminal charges related to heroin and other illegal or controlled substances fall under the Texas Controlled Substances Act. This law established four classes of drugs, and each has its own classifications and penalties. Texas places heroin in Penalty Group 1, along with other drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.

Penalty Group 1 is the highest level of drugs, and substances are placed in this category because they are highly addictive and have higher rates of abuse. They also cause considerable harm to the user and often lead to other criminal activities, such as theft and prostitution.

Legal penalties upon conviction of crimes involving Penalty Group 1 drugs are more severe than other groups, and the seriousness of the charges increases if the crime involves violence, resulted in injury to others, or occurred in the presence of a child.

Types of Heroin Charges

Which charge you get for heroin depends on how much of the drug authorities seize as well as whether or not you are involved with its distribution or manufacturing:

  • Possession – You intentionally or knowingly had heroin in your possession.
  • Manufacturing – You created or manufactured the drug.
  • Delivering or distributing – You sold or gave heroin to someone else. This can involve handing a person the drug or placing the drug in their car or home and notifying them.

If large amounts of heroin are being delivered or distributed, you may also face charges for heroin trafficking. Even if the police don’t find a lot of heroin in your possession, they can still add “intent to distribute” if they find records of deals you have made or you have large stacks of cash lying around.

Penalties for Heroin Charges

Texas law divides charges into possession and manufacturing and delivery. Both have different levels of penalties, and possession of any amount of heroin is considered a felony in Texas.

Possession – The penalties for possession of heroin are based on the amount you had in your possession:

  • Less than 1 gram – State jail felony – 180 days to 1 year in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 1-3.99 grams – Third-degree felony – 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 4-199 grams – Second-degree felony, 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 200–399 grams – First-degree felony, 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • More than 400 grams – First-degree felony, 10-99 years to life in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

Manufacturing and Delivering – Manufacturing and delivering are combined under the same statutes, and they are also based on the amount of drugs authorities seized:

  • Less than 1 gram – State jail felony – Up to 2 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 1-3.99 grams – Second-degree felony – 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 4 – 199 grams – First-degree felony – 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 200 – 399 grams – First-degree felony – 99 years to life in prison with a 10-year minimum and up to a $100,000 fine.
  • More than 400 grams – First-degree felony – Life in prison with a 15-year minimum and up to a $250,000 fine.

Enhanced Penalties

handcuffsCertain circumstances surrounding the crime may increase the penalties you receive after conviction, such as if the crime was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 18 or led to the injury or death of another.

Depending on the nature of the offense and the circumstances, you could face additional penalties, such as:

  • Increased level of your charge, from a first- to second-degree felony, for instance
  • Increased prison time from 15 to 20 years
  • Increased fines significantly

Defending Against Your Heroin Charges

No matter the type or level of heroin charges you face, you will experience considerable challenges in your life that go beyond incarceration and fines if you are convicted.

As a convicted felon, you will lose certain constitutional rights, and you will find your freedom and liberties constrained even after leaving prison.

Your future rests on how well you can defend yourself against your heroin charges, and you need a legal ally with a track record of proven results to help you in your time of need.

Contact Us

For help, you can contact the experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyers of Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 for a confidential consultation today.

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