Possession of Heroin
Heroin is a derivative of morphine, which occurs naturally in the opium poppy. The plant grows in Asia, South America and Mexico. Heroin was once a legal drug and was marketed to the public as a cough suppressant until it was banned in the U.S. in 1924.
Possession of heroin is a serious crime anywhere in the U.S. and the laws described in the Texas Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 481 of the Texas Statutes, categorize the possession of any amount of heroin as a felony. The penalties for a conviction of heroin possession are harsh and may include prison, heavy fines, loss of driver's license, and mandatory drug education and treatment, as well as other adverse consequences.
Attorney for Heroin Possession in Austin, Texas
We are often contacted by a family member concerned about a relative facing charges for possession of heroin. In some cases, our clients desperately want treatment but do know where to turn.
If you or a family member was charged with possession of heroin in Austin, Texas, or Travis County, Texas, you should consider contact a criminal defense attorney that can help you when seeking drug addiction treatment that will satisfy the courts.
A qualified lawyer can explain the charges you face and assist you in fighting them. An aggressive defense may lead to a reduction or dismissal of the charges. In other cases, completing treatment will help resolve the case for the most favorable terms possible.
If you were arrested in Austin, Pflugerville, Lakeway, or the surrounding areas in Travis County, TX, then contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett is equipped with the local knowledge and resources necessary to defend a heroin possession charge. Kevin Bennett is a dedicated drug crimes attorney in Travis County who can explain the charges you face and then work hard to fight those charges.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Information Center for Possession of Heroin in Austin, Texas
- Heroin Possession
- Criminal Penalties for Heroin Possession
- Civil Penalties for Heroin Possession
- Additional Information About Heroin Possession
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) maintains five "schedules" of controlled substances (using Roman numerals I to V), with Schedule I drugs considered the least medically useful as well as the most addictive. Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance, along with other "street" drugs such as LSD, MDMA ("ecstasy"), and marijuana.
Texas divides controlled substances into four main "penalty groups" (using Arabic numerals) for the purpose of establishing criminal penalties. Heroin is listed in Penalty Group 1, the group of drugs with the most potential for abuse, along with other opiates and opiate derivatives.
Possession of any Group 1 controlled substance, including heroin, is defined in the Texas Statutes, Health and Safety Code, Title 6, Chapter 481.115(a):
- A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice
Possession of any amount of heroin is a felony in Texas. The penalties for a conviction of possession of heroin depend largely on the amount of heroin, but they all include incarceration.
In determining the weight of a controlled substance, any "adulterants or dilutants" may be included. Texas Statutes, Title 6, Chapter 481(b-f) defines the penalties for possession of heroin and Texas Statutes, Penal Code, Title 3, Chapters 12.32 to 12.35 describe the punishments:
Possession of less than one gram: State jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. (Certain prior felony convictions or the use of a deadly weapon elevate possession of less than one gram of heroin to a third-degree felony.)
Possession of one gram to less than four grams: Third-degree felony, punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of four to less than 200 grams: Second-degree felony, punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of 200 to less than 400 grams: First-degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of 400 grams or more: Life felony, punishable by life in prison, or a term of 10-99 years in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000.
Possession of large amounts of heroin may also trigger heroin trafficking charges. Penalties for a conviction of selling heroin are even harsher than the harsh penalties for heroin possession.
Another factor that may influence the penalties imposed by a conviction for possession of heroin is the defendant's prior criminal history.
In addition to the criminal punishments imposed by the courts, a felony conviction in Texas has other consequences. Convicted felons are denied the right to vote or possess a firearm. A felony conviction for possession of heroin will also result in a driver's license suspension of at least 180 days (after incarceration) and the requirement to complete an authorized 15-hour drug education program.
It may be difficult to obtain employment because many businesses refuse to hire convicted felons. Housing may be difficult to obtain. Educational opportunities may shrink. Certain government assistance programs may be off limits due to ineligibility resulting from a felony drug possession conviction.
Avoiding the Consequences of a Conviction
You may be able to navigate the roadblocks encountered in drug crimes, or avoid many of them. An experienced attorney may be able to successfully challenge the charges against you, or even the arrest itself. You may be able to avoid incarceration through a reduction or dismissal of charges and thereby limit the collateral civil and administrative penalties.
If you were charged with possession of less than one gram of heroin, you may be eligible for "drug court," an intensive 12- to 18-month program that seeks to treat and rehabilitate drug offenders.
Texas Statutes, Health and Safety Code, Title 6, Chapter 481 — Read the state laws and definitions related to drug crimes in Texas (Texas Controlled Substances Act).
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Bulletin on Drug Offenses — A bulletin issued by the Texas DPS summarizes the administrative penalties that may be imposed for people convicted of drug crimes in Texas.
Council on Recovery— Formerly known as Austin Recovery, this organization provides residential and outpatient treatment services for addiction and related issues in and around Austin.
Attorney for Possession of Heroin in Austin, Texas
If you were arrested for possession of heroin in Austin or Travis County, Texas, please consider seeking treatment. You should also consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you with your important legal issues.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents clients charged with possession of heroin in Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, and the surrounding areas of Travis County. Kevin Bennett is a skilled attorney who has represented many clients charged with drug possession. He will thoroughly review the facts surrounding your case, and use his knowledge of Texas law and criminal legal procedure to weaken the prosecution’s case.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 if you have been arrested for possession of heroin. Your initial consultation is free, and it will begin the process of defending your freedom.