A Look at Possession and Dealing in Heroin
In this blog the Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower take a look at possession and dealing in heroin. Before we take a look at the crimes of possession and dealing in heroin we will look at a little background information on the drug itself. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, “Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.””
Heroin can be injected, snorted or smoked. In all forms, once heroin is introduced into the body it converts back to morphine and can easily lead to addiction. The consumption of heroin leads users to a period of euphoria, followed by varying states of lucidness and drowsiness. As in many drugs, an overdose and death are possible when heroin is abused.
Now that we have a very basic background on heroin, we will take a look at the legal consequences for possessing and dealing in it. First we will take a look at the basic possession charge. In Indiana, possession of heroin is a narcotic drug and someone who knowingly or intentionally possess it without a valid prescription has committed possession of a narcotic drug(heroin) a Level 6 Felony. As a Level 6 felony, possession carries the possibility of 6 months to 2 ½ years in prison.
There are some enhancements to the possession that can increase it to a level 5 felony. A level 5 felony carries between 1 to 5 years in prison. The enhancements would include if the possession involved a school bus, was near a school, park, youth center or family housing complex; or if the amount possessed was between 5 and 10 grams. The possession can be escalated to a level 4 felony carrying a penalty of 2 to 12 years in prison if the amount possessed was between 10 to 28 grams or if the amount was between 5 to 10 grams and involved a school bus, park, youth center, or family housing complex.
The possession can get bumped all the way up to a level 3 felony and carry a penalty of 3 to 20 years in prison. This enhancement requires the amount possessed to be more than 28 grams or 10 to 28 grams and involve a park, school, school bus, youth center or family housing complex.
Next we look at dealing in heroin. To be convicted of dealing the State must prove that a person knowingly or intentionally: manufactured, financed the manufacture, delivered or financed the delivery of heroin or that they possessed heroin with the intent to manufacture or deliver the heroin. If convicted of dealing, the penalty is a level 5 felony and carries a penalty of 1 to 6 years.
Much like the possession charges, dealing can be enhanced based on the circumstances or the amount involved. The dealing is a level 4 felony (2 to 12 years) if the amount is more than 1 gram but less than 5 grams. It is also a level 4 felony if it involves a dealing to a minor or a school bus, school, park, youth center or family housing complex.
The dealing bumps up to a level 3 felony (3 to 20 years) if the amount is 5 to 10 grams or if it is 1 to 5 grams and involves a minor, school bus, park, school or public housing complex. The last enhancement bumps dealing heroin up to a level 2 felony (10 to 30 years) if the amount of heroin involves at least 10 grams or the amount is between 5 and 10 grams and involves a minor, school, school bus, park or public housing complex.
As can be seen, the charges of possession and dealing heroin in the State of Indiana presents a wide variety of possible consequences ranging from a level 6 felony all the way up to a level 2 felony. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug related charge in Indiana contact the experienced Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower who will help you defend the charges and get you back on the right track. Call us at 317-870-0019.