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Heroin Charges

Heroin is an addictive and potentially deadly illegal substance whose use has seen a sharp increase in the U.S. over the past decade. Because of its addictive nature, the State of Texas and U.S. government punish possession and distribution of even small amounts very severely.

Possession of a trace amount of heroin, even so much as would be difficult to test, is punishable as a felony in Texas. Federally, the U.S. government is more concerned with conspiracy to distribute heroin, and can bring heavy prison sentences for those suspected of dealing in sizable quantities.

Dallas Heroin Defense Attorney

As the penalties are very serious, it is important you hire knowledgeable counsel and begin the process of building your defense as soon as possible. State and federal drug investigations can be highly complex, and Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can sort through the evidence to best represent you.

Call us today at (972) 233-5700 or send an online form to schedule a free consultation. With an overview of the case, lawyer Richard McConathy will begin to map out the best route to maintaining your freedom.


Information on North Texas Heroin Charges


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Texas Heroin Offenses – § 481.115 Possession of Heroin

Any amount of heroin, even a trace amount of 1/100th of a gram of residue on a pipe or syringe, can be charged as a felony possession offense in Texas. An experienced lawyer will challenge lab results for these very small amounts of a questionable substance. Additionally, any search or investigatory methods must comply with your Fourth Amendment protections, and all evidence that falls out of bounds may be excluded from trial.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will work to show the prosecution and judge your clean prior record, family life, work experience, and outside references, to minimize the serious consequences that come with a heroin possession charge.

Penalties for heroin possession in Texas are:

Amount

Sentence

Punishment

<1 gram

State Jail Felony

180-1 year jail; up to $10,000 fine

1-4 grams

Third Degree Felony

2-10 years prison; up to $10,000 fine

4-200 grams

Second Degree Felony

2-20 years prison; up to $10,000 fine

200-400 grams

First Degree Felony

5-99 years prison; up t0 $10,000 fine

>400 grams

First Degree Felony

10-99 years prison; up to $100,000 fine


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Texas Heroin Offenses – § 481.112 Manufacture or Delivery of Heroin

As the amounts increase, the State of Texas is more likely to charge the alleged offender for delivery of heroin rather than simple possession. Items such as large sums of cash, a firearm, scales, small bags or packaging materials, all signal a possible distribution scheme to law enforcement and will prompt the charge of heroin delivery.

Heroin delivery to a minor, in any amount, is at minimum a second degree felony.

Amount

Sentence

Punishment

<1 gram

State Jail Felony

180-1 year jail; up to $10,000 fine

1-4 grams

Second Degree Felony

2-20 years prison; up to $10,000 fine

4-200 grams

First Degree Felony

5-99 years prison; up to $10,000 fine

200-400 grams

First Degree Felony

10-99 years prison; up to $100,000 fine

>400 grams

First Degree Felony

15-99 years prison; up to $250,000 fine

The manufacture of heroin in the presence of a minor will increase the original penalty by one degree. If the charge is for 200-400 grams of heroin, the mandatory minimum prison sentence jumps from 10 to 15 years and the potential fine is increased from $100,000 to $150,000. If over 400 grams of heroin is manufactured in the presence of a minor, the minimum prison sentence is 20 years and potential fine is $300,000. (Texas Penal Code § 481.1122)


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Texas Heroin Offenses – § 481.125 Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia in the case of heroin can include syringes, needles, glass pipes, packaging materials such as balloons or small bags, a scale or balance, small pieces of aluminum foil, and any item to assist in the manufacture of heroin.

Penalties for possession or delivery of heroin paraphernalia can be charged alongside the felony charge of possession of heroin.

Simple possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500. Delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver paraphernalia is Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a fine up to $4,000, unless there is a prior conviction of the same offense, in which case a minimum of 90 days imprisonment is imposed.

If an adult delivers the paraphernalia to a minor, the penalty is a state jail felony with 180 days to one year in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.


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Texas Heroin Offenses – § 481.141 Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance Causing Death or Serious Bodily Injury

Unfortunately, heroin overdoses are not uncommon. In an effort to increase profitability, heroin may be “cut” at any level of its sale with unregulated substances as far ranging as sugar or the opioid fentanyl. Additionally, users may take heroin alongside other substances or it may lead to a state of mind that puts the user’s life at risk.

The State of Texas will prosecute the alleged dealer of heroin under Texas Penal Code § 481.141 if, even when taken in combination with other substances, the delivery of heroin leads to death or serious bodily injury. The underlying conviction of delivery of heroin will be increased to a first degree felony (up from either a state jail felony or second degree felony) with a punishment of five to 99 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.


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Texas Heroin Offenses – § 481.134 Drug-Free Zones

The alleged offender may have no knowledge of a nearby school or swimming pool, but can see her heroin conviction ratcheted up due to so-called Drug-Free Zones. Typically a possession or delivery charge will be increased by one degree due to closeness to the defined zones. See below for a list of exact penalties.

Texas Penal Code

Description

Increased Penalty

 

481.112 (b)

Manufacture or delivery <1 g

Third Degree Felony

Within 1,000 feet of an institution of higher learning, public or private youth center, or playground.

Within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade.

481.112 (c)

Manufacture or delivery 1-4 g

First Degree Felony

481.112 (c-f)

Manufacture or delivery

5 years added to sentence; doubled maximum fine

Within 1,000 feet of a school, a public or private youth center, a playground, or on a school bus.

481.115 (c-f)

Possession of heroin

481.112 (b)

Manufacture or delivery

Third degree felony

Within 1,000 feet of a school or school board, a public or private youth center, a playground, or on a school bus.

481.115 (b)

Possession of heroin


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Federal Heroin Charges

The federal government is most interested in the growth, manufacture, and distribution of illegal substances, heroin being especially targeted as a highly addictive drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration employs formidable investigatory resources on what it suspects are heroin distribution conspiracies.

If you suspect you are the subject of an investigation or if you have formal heroin indictment against you, legal counsel can immediately begin shoring up your defense.

Federal court is a unique, lengthy, and challenging process. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has the necessary experience to navigate successfully through plea and then trial. If you are facing federal charges for heroin in Dallas, Arlington, Denton, McKinney, Fort Worth, call us today to schedule a free consultation to review your case.

Heroin Possession

Possession of any amount of heroin can be prosecuted as a federal offense according to Title 21 of U.S. Code § 841. The government must show that you knowingly were in possession of the substance and that the substance is illegal. “Constructive” possession – or the access and ability to control an illegal substance – can also be charged as possession. Instances of constructive possession may be in the case of the offender keeping a stash of heroin at another person’s home, to which the offender has access.

First conviction of heroin possession is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and minimum $1,000 fine. A prior drug conviction will increase the penalty to at least 15 days and no more than two years in prison with a minimum $2,500 fine. Two prior drug offense convictions lead to no less than 90 days in prison up to a possible three years. The minimum fine is $5,000.

The government may also seek, factoring in the defendant’s ability to comply, to fine the defendant the cost of the trial.

Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin

The U.S. government, in its authority to regulate interstate commerce, has a keen interest in drug traffic and distribution of illegal substances. Because heroin is seen as a “harder,” Schedule I substance, the Drug Enforcement Agency will aggressively investigate and prosecute all of those it assumes are playing a role in a conspiracy to distribute.

Prosecution can introduce evidence suggesting the intention to distribute, including paraphernalia, large sums of money, a large amount of heroin, and witness testimony.

The penalties for heroin distribution and possession grow in seriousness as the amount in question increases. Additionally, enhancing factors include previous criminal offenses and whether or not the heroin resulted in a death or serious injury.

Heroin Amount

Enhancing Factors

Penalty

Fine

< 99 grams

None

Up to 20 years imprisonment

$1,000,000 individual
$5,000,000 other than individual

100 – 999 grams

None

5 – 40 years imprisonment; 4 years probation

$5,000,000 individual
$25,000,000 other than individual

100 – 999 grams

Death or serious bodily injury occurs

20 years to life; 4 years probation

$5,000,000 individual
$25,000,000 other than individual

100 – 999 grams

Prior drug conviction

10 – 40 years imprisonment; 8 years probation

 $8,000,000 individual
$50,000,000 other than individual

100 – 999 grams

Prior drug conviction AND death or serious bodily injury occurs

Life imprisonment

$8,000,000 individual
$50,000,000 other than individual

> 1 kilogram

 

10 years to life imprisonment; 5 years probation

$10,000,000 individual
$50,000,000 other than individual

> 1 kilogram

Death or serious bodily injury occurs

20 years to life imprisonment; 10 years probation

$10,000,000 individual
$50,000,000 other than individual

>1 kilogram

Prior drug conviction

20 years to life imprisonment; 10 years probation

$20,000,000 individual
$75,000,000 other than individual

>1 kilogram

Prior drug conviction AND death or serious bodily injury occurs

Life imprisonment

$20,000,000 individual
$75,000,000 other than individual

>1 kilogram

Two prior drug offenses

Life imprisonment

$20,000,000 individual
$75,000,000 other than individual

Attempt and Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin

A federal investigation of larger-scale organization is suspected of the manufacture or distribution of heroin can bring down charges on all involved. If you are under investigation by a federal agency for any connection to a heroin distribution scheme, it is imperative to have strong legal guidance on your side. The Drug Enforcement Administration has great resources to conduct investigations, but must do so in compliance with your Constitutional rights.

Conspiracy to manufacture or distribute heroin is punishable by the same harsh penalties as those for distribution, manufacture, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.


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Criminal Defense Lawyer for Heroin Possession and Distribution in Dallas

If you are facing state drug charges or a federal indictment for heroin charges in Dallas, Allen, Irving, Plano, Arlington or the surrounding areas, Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can assist you. With experience across thousands of cases, Dallas criminal defese attorney Richard C. McConathy can lead you through each step of this difficult period. Whatever the circumstances in your case, Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively challenge the prosecution at every turn.

Call us today at (972) 233-5700 to schedule a free consultation and begin to lay the foundations of your defense.


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