Understanding Heroin Charges
Are you facing allegations or charges of a drug crime involving heroin? This is considered one of the most dangerous controlled substances and is classified as a Schedule I substance under Federal drug laws. For a defendant accused of a drug crime involving heroin, serious penalties may be imposed. That is why you should work to involve an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Heroin drug crimes may be classified as state or federal offenses, depending on the particular nature of the alleged crime. Generally, simple possession charges will be kept at a state level, but if a defendant is accused of
trafficking heroin he or she may be at risk of facing charges in federal court. A defendant may even face charges in state
and federal court without this being considered double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime) because the courts are separate from one another.
Penalties for Heroin Drug Crimes
You need to be sure you have the most aggressive and experienced legal representation possible in the face of heroin charges in Philadelphia. Without proper criminal defense counsel, you may be at risk of facing maximum penalties, and this may mean:
- For offenses involving 1 to 5 grams of heroin or any heroin mixture, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment under Pennsylvania law is 2 years and a fine of $5,000.
- For 5 to 50 grams, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is 3 years and a fine of $15,000.
- For 50 grams or more, the mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
If a defendant has a prior drug trafficking conviction on his or her record, however, increase minimum penalties may apply. Heavier fines may also be imposed in order to exhaust the assets and proceeds recovered from illegal drug activity.