Heroin is a very dangerous drug that is illegal throughout the United States. Each state has its own laws pertaining to the possession and sale of heroin. If you are facing charges related to heroin in Pennsylvania, there are some factors that you must consider as you plan your defense.
What is the penalty for possessing heroin?
The possession of heroin in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor. This means that you face up to a year in jail on the first offense and up to 3 years on subsequent offenses. You should also know that it is possible to face criminal charges if you have heroin paraphernalia in your possession. Our state also has a separate charge for buying heroin, but in many cases, that charge isn’t used.
What is the penalty for selling heroin?
Selling heroin is a felony charge that can lead to 15 years in prison on a first offense. Each subsequent offense is subject to up to 30 years in prison. If the sale of the heroin was to a minor, you also face up to 30 years in prison, even if it is a first offense. Mandatory minimum sentences are present for selling and trafficking.
Are there alternative programs available?
Pennsylvania has a drug court program that is an alternative for people who qualify. The goal of this program is to treat addictions and reduce the chance that the person will re-offend. You must be accepted into this program, which includes counseling, drug testing and probation.
If you are facing any heroin-related charges, you should carefully consider all of the options that are on the table.
Source: FindLaw, “Pennsylvania Heroin Laws,” accessed Jan. 29, 2016