Heroin Charges in Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita Criminal Defense Lawyers
The National Institute of Drug Abuse calls heroin the "most abused" and the "most rapidly acting" of opiates. Heroin is seen as a powerful, highly addictive and highly dangerous drug. For this reason, law enforcement and prosecutors tend to come down hard on individuals who are accused of heroin-related drug crimes. These might be crimes that involve possessing, selling, transporting (for distribution) or trafficking heroin, among other related offenses. Anyone who is convicted of a heroin-related drug crime is at risk of facing serious penalties and will therefore need a strong line of defense in court.
At the Law Offices of David M. Wallin, we are fully prepared to handle these types of cases. With the five decades of experience that our team has, we are fully knowledgeable about the best way to defend against drug crime charges. By working with one of our Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyers, you can rest assured that a competent legal professional is protecting your rights and helping you reduce your chances of receiving a conviction.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is made from morphine. It can be injected, smoked or snorted, and it leaves users with rushes of euphoria, followed by a drowsy state, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. There are an estimated 2 million heroin users in the U.S., according to data from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Heroin is considered Schedule I controlled substance. Under the U.S. Department of Drug Administration's definition, Schedule I controlled substances are those that currently have no accepted medical use within the United States, as well as high abuse potential.
Penalties for Heroin-Related Convictions
Below are penalties that can be given in the state of California for a few offenses that involve a list of specified drugs (including heroin):
- Possession—16 months or 2 to 3 years in prison
- Possession or purchase with intent to sell—2 to 4 years in prison
- Transportation or distribution—3 to 5 years in prison
- Prison time raised to 3, 6 or 9 years if offense involves transporting across county lines in order to sell
These prison terms are in addition to potential fines, which can amount to thousands of dollars. Penalties can be dramatically increased for those who possess or transport 14.25 grams or more of substances that contain heroin with the intent to sell the drugs. The penalties can also be increased for those who have previous drug crime convictions. It is important to note that certain individuals could be eligible to participate in drug diversion programs in place of jail time. When these programs are successfully completed, it is sometimes possible for the defendant to get his or her charges dismissed. A good attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and help you determine what specific penalties you might be at risk of facing, as well as the best methods for preventing such outcomes.
Defending Yourself from Your Accusers
There are various ways to challenge heroin charges. It might be possible to show that you were misidentified, that the drugs were planted on your person or on your property or that you were actually involved in a lesser offense (such as personal possession rather than possession with the intent of distributing or selling the drug to others). Another option could be to use mistakes by law enforcement to get your charges completely dismissed. This usually occurs when law enforcement officers violated the defendant's Constitutional rights during a search or seizure that was used to find the heroin. Officers are required to follow the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure—such as searches that were not based on the appropriate level of probable cause.
We at the Law Offices of David M. Wallin are ready to help you find the best approach to carry out your defense. In addition to heroin cases, we also handle many other types of drug crime cases.
Contact us so you can begin receiving the legal support you need!
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At The Law Offices of David M. Wallin, we know that the state will do everything in their power to make sure you end up behind bars. Because we know this, we'll actively work toward making sure your rights are protected and that your case is treated with the utmost care and urgency.