Heroin possession

Heroin possession

On March 10, 2016, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and New York City Police Commissioner confirmed the indictment of 20 defendants for their individual roles in two drug trafficking organizations responsible for distributing heroin and PCP in Manhattan and the Bronx. Detectives executing the search warrants seized, among other things, 14 kilograms of heroin, 14 firearms, and over $100,000 in cash. If found guilty on the heroin possession charges, the defendants could be sent to prison for up to 30 years.

Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug because it is highly addictive and has no accepted medical purpose in the United States. For that reason, authorities are especially harsh when it comes to punishing those who are charged with possession, distribution, or sale. If you are caught possessing heroin in New York, you face heavy fines and possibly decades in prison.

The penalties depend on how much you were carrying when the police stopped you, and whether or not you have a prior record. Possession of less than 1/8 of an ounce of heroin is Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.  Possessing more than 1/8 of an ounce but less than ½ of an ounce will bump the charge up to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 4th Degree, which is a Class C felony that can send you to jail for up to five and a half years if you are a first offender. Repeat offenders are looking at up to nine years in a state prison. From there it goes up: possession of more than eight ounces of heroin is Criminal Possession in the First Degree, a Class A-I felony that can result in a 20-year prison sentence even for first offenders.

If you are arrested by federal authorities, then chances are strong that you will also be charged with possession with intent to distribute, even if you were carrying less than 100 grams. If that happens, you are looking at up to 20 years in a federal prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

If you have been charged with possession of a Schedule I drug like heroin, you need to consult a criminal defense attorney immediately. He or she will review your case for factors like the following:

  • Whether you were stopped and searched illegally
  • Whether or not you knowingly possessed the heroin- were you holding someone else’s bag or purse at their request?
  • The weight of the drugs- can a felony charge be avoided?

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge the basis of your stop and search, and thereby get the drug evidence suppressed. If there are no grounds for such a challenge, then your attorney may also try to mitigate your actions so that a non-criminal disposition results.

A heroin possession charge will have a significant impact on your career, certifications, licenses, and other privileges, so the ideal outcome is to have your case disposed of without a resulting criminal record. After reviewing all facts, your attorney will work with you to bring about the best possible outcome. If you have been charged with a drug crime, then contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC at 212-9151-1232. Ms. Rendelman is a criminal defense lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. She offers free consultations. Visit www.RendelmanLaw.com for more information on drug crimes.