Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs, and being found in possession of heroin can lead to severe criminal penalties that can affect someone for the rest of their life. If you are arrested and charged with heroin possession, the prosecution will likely seek jail time.
Contact an experienced heroin possession attorney at George Law for a case evaluation and to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling (248) 247-7459 or by filling out our online contact form.
What Is Heroin Possession?
In Michigan, heroin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance because it is considered one of the most addictive and abused drugs on the market. As a result, possession of any amount of heroin will result in harsh punishment. Moreover, those penalties will only become harsher with the more heroin you are found in possession of because it may be assumed that you possessed the heroin with the intent to sell.
You can also be charged with heroin possession even if you are not the one in actual possession of the heroin. For example, if you are in a vehicle and there is heroin in your glovebox, you could still be charged with heroin possession through constructive possession. Constructive possession could be established by showing that the defendant knew that there was heroin in the vehicle and could have actually possessed it if they wanted.
Penalties For Heroin Possession
In Michigan, heroin possession is classified as a felony drug crime. The penalties you will face depend on the amount of heroin you are convicted of possessing and if there were other factors, such as intent to distribute.
If someone is charged with heroin possession, they could face the following penalties:
- Possession of fewer than 50 grams: Up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Possession between 50 and 449 grams: Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
- Possession between 450 grams and 999 grams: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
- Possession of 1,000 grams or more: Up to life in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
The more heroin you are found to possess, the more likely it is that you will be charged with heroin possession with the intent to distribute. As a result, the penalties for having over 50 grams of heroin are substantially higher than the penalties for 50 grams or less.
In addition to the amount found in the defendant’s possession, the sentence could be more severe if the defendant has a prior drug conviction or if they were in possession near one of the following:
- Public park
- Public business
The closer you are to endangering the public, especially children, the more extreme your penalties will be. For example, someone is more likely to receive the maximum penalty if they are near a public park possessing heroin than under a bridge alone. Additionally, while the sentence for heroin possession is severe, there are other consequences that someone may face if they are convicted of heroin possession, including:
- Community service
- Random drug and alcohol testing during parole or probation
- Completion of a drug treatment program
- License suspension
- Difficulty obtaining employment
- Difficulty obtaining housing
- Difficulty gaining child custody or visitation rights
If someone is found in possession of heroin, they may also be charged with the following crimes:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Heroin trafficking
- Manufacturing of heroin
Facing additional crimes in connection to the heroin possession charge can result in increased sentences and fines. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you are arrested for heroin possession can make a difference in the penalties you may face.
Defenses To Heroin Possession Charges
There are a variety of defenses that an experienced criminal defense attorney may employ on your behalf, including:
- Lack of intent to possess the heroin
- Lack of knowledge that the heroin was actually or constructively in the defendant’s possession
- The heroin was found during an illegal search and seizure
- The heroin was discovered as a result of entrapment
- The evidence was not properly maintained in the chain of custody
Expungement Of Heroin Convictions
As of April 12, 2021, in Michigan, you can have three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors removed from your record. However, if you were sentenced to life for heroin possession, that is not eligible for expungement.
How Will An Attorney Help?
Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys will review the facts of your case to best determine what defense should be employed to best protect your interests. For example, if there was a biased identification process, your case could be dismissed because the evidence was found during an illegal search and seizure of your property.
Attorneys at George Law understand the Michigan criminal justice system and will fight for your charges to be reduced or dismissed if possible, considering the facts of your case.
Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know is facing or has been convicted of heroin possession, an experienced criminal defense attorney at George Law is ready to review the facts of your case and discuss your legal options. Your results will depend on your defense team. At George Law, we will immediately begin building defense strategies that will protect you from the repercussions of a felony drug conviction. Don’t jeopardize your defense by failing to have an experienced criminal defense team on your side. Contact us today at (248) 247-7459 or online.