New York Heroin

Heroin, like morphine and opium, is a derivative of the opium poppy. It is a Schedule I controlled substance under New York law and federal law. Heroin, sometimes referred to as smack, big H, and black tar, is usually available in powder form and can be inhaled or smoked. The powder can also be dissolved in water and injected with a hypodermic needle. It is extremely dangerous and highly addictive, with some becoming addicted after just one use. Oftentimes people begin to use heroin after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. Heroin offers a similar high, is less expensive, and easier to obtain. The number of heroin users in the United States is growing. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2007 there were approximately 373,000. By 2012 that number had grown to 669,000. In 2014 there were 10,500 heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. Because of the dangers associated with the abuse of heroin, New York law enforcement aggressively seeks to apprehend, prosecute and convict those accused of heroin drug crimes. If you have been charged with a drug crime related to heroin you should immediately contact an experienced New York heroin lawyer who will review the facts of your case and vigorously defend you against the charges. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

Types of drug crimes

Under the New York Penal Code controlled substance offenses are grouped into several categories. If you are charged with a crime related to heroin, the charge could be related to possession of heroin, distributing heroin, or possessing drug paraphernalia.

Possessing heroin

Under the New York Penal Code heroin possession falls under offenses related to criminal possession of a controlled substance. There are 4 such offenses that relate to heroin, which is a narcotic. The various felony charges related to heroin possession are based on the amount of heroin you possess. The more heroin you possess, the more serious the possession charge.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. If you have at least 1/8 of an ounce of heroin you will face this charge. It is a class C felony that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. If you have at least 1/2 ounce of heroin you will face this charge. It is a class B felony that carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. If you have 4 ounces of heroin you will face this charge. It is a class A-II felony that carries a penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree. If you have 8 ounces or more of heroin you will face this charge. It is a class A-I felony that carries a penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21

Sale of a heroin

Selling heroin falls under charges related to criminal sale of a controlled substance. Because selling heroin is considered a much more serious crime than possessing heroin, selling offenses carry heavier penalties even when smaller amounts of heroin are involved as compared to possession offenses.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. While this charge is classified as a possession charge, you will face this charge if you possess heroin with the intent to sell it. It is a class B felony that carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. You will face this charge if you sell less than 1/2 ounce of heroin. It is also a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree. You will face this charge if you sell at least 1/2 ounce of heroin or a heroin mixture. It is also a class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.41

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree. You will face this charge if you sell at least 2 ounces of heroin or a heroin mixture. It is also a class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.43

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds . You will face this charge if you sell heroin at or near a school, educational facility, a child day care center, or on or near a school bus. It is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.44

Operating as a major trafficker. You will face this charge if you sell at least $75,000 worth of heroin within a 6 month period, or if you possess at least 75,000 worth of heroin within a 6 month period. It is a class A-1 felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77

Other heroin offenses

Drug paraphernalia offenses related to heroin focus on possessing the equipment required to manufacture, store and package heroin in order to sell it. Offenses include criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 220.50 and 220.55

If you are least 18 years old and you somehow involve a child who is under 16 years old in selling heroin, you will face the charge of use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.28

Sentencing for a drug crime conviction

The penalty for a conviction of a crime related to heroin will be based on how the crime is classified: misdemeanor or felony, and what level of misdemeanor or felony. Heroin offenses range from a class A misdemeanor to a class A-1 felony. The penalties for drug convictions include:

Class A misdemeanor. The maximum possible sentence is 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree is a class A misdemeanors.

Class E felony. The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense is a class E felony.

Class D felony. The maximum possible sentence is 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree is a class D felony.

Class C felony . The maximum possible sentence is 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is a class C felony.

Class B felony. The maximum possible sentence is 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree are class B felonies.

Class A-II felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree are class A-II felonies.

Class A-I felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Operating as a major trafficker is a class A-I felony.

Your sentence for a heroin crime will not only be based on whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony, but also on your prior criminal history. If you are a first time, non-violent offender you will receive a lighter sentence than if you have one or more prior felony convictions. However, if you have a substance abuse problem and commit a heroin crime that is class B, C, D or E felony, you may be eligible for an alternative sentencing program called Drug Treatment Court. It allows you to go through a drug treatment program and upon successful completion your criminal charge will be resolved in a favorable manner.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are convicted of possessing heroin, selling heroin, or any other heroin crime in New York, you could be sentenced to prison for several years. Penalties for controlled substance crimes tend to be heavy, involving both prison time and substantial fines. Because of these potential consequences of a conviction, if you have been charged with a heroin drug offense you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of a drug crime. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of drug possession, drug distribution and drug manufacturing offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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