There is currently a lot of discussion centered around heroin, heroin charges in Roanoke, Va, and the opioid epidemic in Virginia and across the U.S. Parents are tragically encountering heroin and the various legal and health-related consequences associated with its use for the first time. If you are dealing with your own or a loved one’s legal troubles connected to heroin, it is important to gain the facts.
Heroin is classified the same way under Virginia law as it is under federal statutes. This means it is a Schedule I substance and there are severe legal consequences that go along with making, possessing, or distributing heroin in Virginia. Heroin-related issues have been increasing in Virginia in the recent years and authorities have taken notice. As a result, Law enforcement in Virginia has announced their intention to crack down on heroin crimes in the Roanoke area in all forms. It’s easy to think that you or a loved one will never face heroin charges in Roanoke, VA., but with such increased attention, it’s always better to be prepared.
Drug cases can take a long time to be resolved. The charge, and possible punishment, you face depends on several factors. An experienced Roanoke drug attorney will be able to guide you through the process. Copenhaver, Ellet & Derrico should be your first call when facing a drug charge in Virginia. We will analyze your circumstances, answer any questions you may have, and strive to find an outcome that puts you or your loved one on the best possible path.
Possession of Heroin in Virginia Will Lead to Criminal Penalties
Under Virginia law, if you possess any amount of heroin, you are guilty of a Class five felony. You could face up to 12 months in prison and as much as $2,500 in fines. It is important to note that in Virginia, you do not have to physically be holding heroin in order to legally have possession of it. If the heroin is “under your control,” you could be found guilty of possession. This applies if the heroin is somewhere only you reasonably have access to it (in your basement, for example). For some first time offenders, a counseling program is available instead of prison time.
Selling, Or Intending to Sell, Heroin May Result in Serious Punishment
If you’re distributing or intending to distribute heroin, the penalties are more severe than simply possessing it. Your first conviction for selling heroin could get you a prison sentence between five and 40 years. Your potential fine may also be as much as $500,000. The sentence increases to a possible life sentence for your second offense with a mandatory minimum of three years to be served consecutively. For your third offense of selling heroin, however, you face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years and a maximum of life, in addition to a $500,000 fine.
If you’re convicted of selling an excessive amount of heroin, you risk even more serious consequences. Anyone who is found manufacturing, selling, or intending to sell, 100 grams of a substance with detectable heroin in it risks a $1,000,000 fine. You may also face prison, for a minimum of five years, and a maximum of life.
Possible Defenses Against Intending to Sell Heroin
The penalties for possessing heroin with intent to sell are far stiffer than the penalties for simply having it on you. If you’re facing a charge of possession with intent to sell or distribute, you may be able to get it reduced if you can prove:
- You did not profit from distributing the heroin;
- You did not distribute the heroin to an inmate; or
- You did not give the heroin for free with the intent for the recipient to become addicted.
Talk to an Attorney About Drug Charges and Possible Defenses
The laws governing heroin charges in Roanoke, Va, and their punishment are constantly evolving. A knowledgeable and committed drug crime defense attorney will remain up to date on these laws, and their application. If you’re wondering whether your heroin charges can be reduced or defended, call Copenhaver, Ellet & Derrico right away. We understand the drug laws in Virginia and are passionate about helping you or your loved one through the legal system. We can answer any questions you have about heroin crimes and the possible defenses available.