The U.S Department of Health and Human Services advises that the use of heroin has grown tremendously since 2007 and, as of 2014, resulted in over 10,000 deaths due to overdose. As well as being extremely dangerous and a life-threatening addiction, heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance and is illegal under both federal and state law. The consequences for possessing heroin in New York can be extremely harsh. With the heroine epidemic as real as ever, it’s important to understand the consequences of possessing and/or distributing heroine in the state of New York.
Potential Penalties for Possessing and/or Selling Heroin in New York
Possession of heroin that is less than 1/8th of an ounce is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is classified as criminal possession in the 7th degree. Although the term misdemeanor may make it seem like the punishment will be small, if someone is charged with a Class A misdemeanor they may face up to one year in jail.
A Class A misdemeanor can become a felony if the amount of heroin exceeds 1/8th of an ounce and/or if there is an intent to distribute. If an individual is found to possess any amount of heroin, with the intent to sell, is it considered criminal possession in the 3rd degree. This is a Class B felony, with a prison sentence of 1 to 9 years. The prison sentence continues to increase when possession increases and/or if it is no longer a first-time offense. For example, an individual that is convicted of a Class B Felony, and is a second time offender, can face anywhere from 12 to 15 years in prison.
If you are caught possessing heroin, or caught with the intent to distribute, there are serious consequences. It is imperative that you locate an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and provide you with an adequate defense.
Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.