Find the right lawyer now

Heroin State and Federal Penalties

Find a Local Criminal Lawyer near You

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a synthetic derivative of morphine. Pure heroin is a white (sometimes pink or beige), odorless powder with a bitter taste. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected. It constitutes a large part of the illicit drug market, and is also one of the most dangerous drugs, as it is difficult to prevent overdoses, due to the inability to determine the purity of the drug.

I Use or Sell Heroin, What are the Federal Penalties I Might Face?

Heroin is a Schedule I drug, and thus there are very severe penalties for the use and sale of heroin. The following are the typical penalties for heroin under the federal system:

  • First Time Possession Charge
    • 1 yr. in prison
    • $5,000 fine
  • Second Time Possession Charge
    • 2 yrs. In prison
    • $10,000 fine
  • First Time Sale or Manufacture Charge
    • Maximum 15 yrs. in prison
    • $25,000 fine
  • Second Time Sale or Manufacture Charge
    • 30 yrs. in prison
    • $50,000 fine

I Use or Sell Heroin, What State Penalties Might I Face?

State laws vary, but most of them subscribe to the Uniform Narcotics Act which makes heroin convictions a felony. The following are typical of state penalties for heroin convictions:

  • Possession
    • Up to 7 yr. jail sentence
    • Up to $50,000 fine
  • Sale or Distribution
    • Up to life in prison, but more commonly between 10-15 yrs.
    • $100,000

I Have Been Accused or Arrested for the Sale or Possession of Heroin, Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Heroin charges are very serious, and with them come very stiff penalties. If you find yourself arrested or accused of a heroin crime, the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney can be essential. Additionally, there are a wide variety of factors involved in these cases, including the practices of your jurisdiction. An attorney can be beneficial in explaining the true nature of the existing law in your jurisdiction.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 01-19-2018 02:41 AM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.