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Penalties for heroin possession and distribution

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2017 | Blog |

Facing a heroin charge is a very serious crime. The punishment you may incur will vary based on the severity of your offense.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to penalizing drug offenders. Every case is unique and requires its own special handling. Depending on your situation, there are a number of ways your case may be managed. While it’s devastating to think about what the future might hold. It’s imperative to remain realistic and understand what you’re up against.

Is this your first-offense?

First-time offenders caught with a small amount of heroin may receive a lighter sentence. Typically this includes reduced charges, probation, fines and/or drug rehabilitation. But don’t assume that will automatically happen for you. Be proactive with your legal counsel and explore every option available.

Are you facing charges for possession or possession with intent to distribute?

The penalties for heroin possession are dependent on the amount seized during your arrest. If convicted of either charge, Michigan courts generally refer to the below guidelines for sentencing:

  • Less than 50 grams is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both
  • Less than 450 grams but more than 50 grams is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000, or both
  • Less than 1,000 grams but more than 450 grams is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000, or both
  • More than 1,000 grams is a felony punishable by life in prison (or any term of years) or a fine up to $1,000,000, or both

Important note: Selling heroin to a minor or near school property could result in double penalties.

Is there an option for rehab instead of jail time?

Talk to your lawyer and ask them about your options for getting into a drug court. The growing heroin epidemic in Michigan and across the U.S. has urged for better treatment programs and more judicial empathy.

A drug treatment court, often referred to as a drug court is a regulated treatment program for persons who are dependent upon or abuse any controlled substance or alcohol. These courts are designed to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. And provide non-violent offenders the tools needed for successful rehabilitation.