Penalties for Heroin Possession
Heroin is a Schedule I drug, which means that it’s a drug that is prescribed for any medical use and is subject to a high rate of abuse. Getting found in possession of any amount of a Schedule I drug like heroin makes you subject to arrest. However, an arrest doesn’t equal a conviction, so just because you’ve been arrested for heroin possession doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll immediately have to undergo the consequences if you are found guilty of the charge.
There are a variety of penalties for heroin possession. If this is your first drug charge, then you could be facing up to a year in jail and a fine as high as $5,000. If you’ve been charged with drug possession before, then you could be facing extended jail time. Your second offense could carry a 2-year jail sentence, and a third offense carries a 3-year sentence.
The amount that you’re found with could also affect your sentencing. For instance, if you are found to be in possession of so many grams of the substance, you could face up to five years for a first-time offense.
Of course, there are other consequences that you’ll have to deal with too in addition to the legal ones. You might also be ordered to complete a drug rehab program, and you could lose your job. Some employers have a zero tolerance policy on drugs, which means that they reserve the right to fire you if you’re convicted of drug charges. This could affect your lifestyle, and it could cause you have to have problems with friends and family members. You might find that some friends and family members no longer want to associate with you, and you also might experience difficulty trying to find a new job since many employers don’t want to hire people who’ve been involved with drugs.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Any time you’re arrested, you should seek out legal representation immediately. It’s also a good idea not to speak to police officers or anyone else without a lawyer present since anything you say could be held against you later on. You’ll need a criminal lawyer who’s familiar with drug crimes to represent you, and there are numerous things that a lawyer can do to assist you.
The first thing a lawyer will do is look at all the evidence pertaining to your case to see if any of it is inadmissible. For instance, if you were arrested after a police officer pulled you over and then happened to find the heroin in your car, then a lawyer will try to determine whether the stop was warranted in the first place. A lawyer might also question why the police officer searched your car. If the office didn’t have probable cause to pull you over or search you in the first place, then your charges might indeed be dropped.
A lawyer might also try to take the angle that the State can’t prove the heroin was really yours. If the heroin was found in your car and not on your person, but there were other people in the vehicle with you, then it could be argued that it wasn’t yours and you didn’t even know of its existence.
Regardless of whether a lawyer can get the best case scenario and get your charges dropped or if he or she can only seek to lessen the penalties of a conviction, it’s important that you have someone who’s willing to fight for your rights in the courtroom.