A NY Drug Defense Attorney Explains Charges for Heroin Possession
A defendant who is accused of heroin possession with intent to sell or deliver could be charged under New York state law and convicted of a state crime. Heroin possession with intent to deliver or sell is also illegal under federal law. You could be charged with a crime that carries a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence and it is not uncommon for conviction to result in decades of imprisonment.
There are options to defend yourself when you’ve been accused of a drug crime involving heroin, even if you were caught with heroin on your person or under your control. You could try to have evidence suppressed, introduce doubt, or raise other defenses to try to get an acquittal. You could also negotiate a plea agreement or sometimes negotiate an immunity deal if you have information to provide. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can help you to explore options available to you so you can reduce the penalties or avoid conviction for a heroin crime. Give us a call for help today if you’ve been charged.
NY State Laws on Heroin Possession With Intent to Sell Or Deliver
The New York penal code has several different statutes defining the crime and penalty of intent to sell narcotics. The specific statute under which you are charged will vary depending upon the amount of heroin that is under your control.
In NY, a prosecutor has to prove you were selling heroin in order for you to be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance. However, if you have a substantial amount of heroin, you could be charged with criminal possession and could face significant penalties, even if a prosecutor is unable to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were selling the narcotic.
Defendants in NY could thus be charged for:
• Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree: This is a Class B felony charge which defendants face if they are accused of selling less than half an ounce of heroin. A conviction for a first offense could result in between one and nine years imprisonment (NY Penal Law section 220.39)
• Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree: This is a Class A-II felony which you could be charged with for selling more than half an ounce but less than two ounces of heroin or a heroin mixture. A conviction for a first offense could result in three to 10 years imprisonment (NY Penal Law section 220.41)
• Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree: This is a Class A-1 felony which you could be charged with for selling two ounces or more of heroin. A first offense could result in between eight and 20 years imprisonment if convicted (NY Penal Law section 220.43).
• Criminal possession in the seventh, fourth, third, second, or first degree. You could be charged with these offenses if you have less than 1/8th of ounce of heroin; between 1/8 and ½ an ounce of heroin; between ½ an ounce and four ounces of heroin; between four ounces and eight ounces of heroin; or more than eight ounces of heroin. Offenses range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class A-1 felony.
Unless a prosecutor can prove sales of heroin occurred, you will not be charged specifically with intent to sell in NY. Instead, a possession charge will be brought against you.
Federal Laws on Heroin Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver
Unlike NY, the federal government doesn’t require proof of sales to charge you with intent to sell or deliver. The charges you face are elevated from simple possession to possession with intent to sell or deliver solely based on the amounts of heroin you have.
21 U.S. Code section 841 details the penalties for possession with intent to sell heroin if you’re charged with a federal crime.
• For less than 100 grams of a heroin containing mixture, you could face a maximum 20 years imprisonment and a maximum million dollar fine.
• For 100 grams or more of a heroin containing mixture but less than a kilogram, you could face a minimum of five years imprisonment and up to 40 years incarceration. You also could be fined up to $2 million.
• For one kilogram or more of heroin or a heroin containing mixture, you face a mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment and up to life in jail, as well as a fine up to $4 million.
You have no control over whether charges will be brought in NY or by the federal government.
How a NY Drug Defense Lawyer Can Help with Heroin Charges
Being charged with possession with intent to sell heroin is a very serious matter. You need to ensure you are fighting conviction or exploring all options for reducing charges. Call Bukh Law Firm, PLLC today to get an experienced legal professional to help.