Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive drug made from morphine. It’s a part of a class of substances called opioids, which also include prescription pain killers such as hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone. Although many people who utilize the drug feel “high” and relaxed, the substance is known to cause a high level of a dependency. If a person uses heroin often, it can develop into an addiction.
According to the National Vital Statistics System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 19.8% of drug overdose deaths in 2019 involved heroin. That is why a conviction for possession of heroin is very serious and punishable by up to 99 years in prison depending on the number of grams a person secures. If you were charged with possession of heroin in Texas, it’s best to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Heroin Defense Attorney in Houston, TX
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, call Horak Law today to seek legal representation. Our Houston criminal defense attorneys have helped countless people charged with heroin crimes. We know how to protect you and develop the right strategies for success. Do not face your drug charges alone.
Attorney Matt Horak Law has offices in Houston, TX and the Woodlands, TX. He and his team also defend clients throughout Harris County and many surrounding areas, including Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, Liberty County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County. Your first consultation is free so give us a call at (713) 225-8000.
- What is a Controlled Scheduled Drug?
- Heroin Crime Penalties in Houston, Texas
- Heroin Crimes Additional Resources
Controlled substances are illegal drugs recognized by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in the United States. These drugs also include unlawfully obtained prescription medicine such as Vicodin or Percocet. According to Chapter 481 of Texas Penal Code, a “controlled substance” is defined as a substance including a drug, an adulterant, and a dilutant, listed in Schedules I through V. The Controlled Substances Act outlines the drugs into these five schedules according to the highest potential for abuse. The substances with the highest abuse potential are placed in Schedule I, and those with the lowest are in Schedule V.
- Schedule I – These drugs contain a high risk of chemical dependency. Many have serious long and short-term effects and therefore are not utilized in the medical field. Some examples are heroin, marijuana, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)
- Schedule II – Schedule II lists drugs that have a high abuse risk, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These substances have an accepted medical purpose in some circumstances. Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methadone, morphine, Demerol, and methamphetamine.
- Schedule III – Substances under this schedule have a moderate to low potential for psychological and physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and Tylenol with codeine
- Schedule IV – These substances have a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples include Ativan, Darvocet, Talwin, Tramadol, and Soma.
- Schedule V – Schedule V substances carry a low potential for abuse in comparison to drugs listed in Schedule IV. They consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of specific narcotics. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs include Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.
Certain factors are considered in determining the category of each drug. According to Section 201 (c), [21 U.S.C. § 811 (c)] of the CSA, these factors are as follows:
- The drug’s potential for abuse.
- Scientific evidence of the substance’s pharmacological effect.
- The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.
- The drug’s history and current pattern of abuse.
- The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.
- What, if any, risk there is to the public health.
- The drug’s psychic or physiological dependence liability.
- Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter.
Penalties for heroin crimes committed in Texas could alter a person’s life forever. If an individual is charged with possession of less than 1 gram of heroin, they will face a state jail felony. A state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of 1-4 grams of heroin will result in a second-degree felony. Those charged with a second-degree felony are subject to face a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 99 years and up to $10,000 in fines.
If a person is convicted of a first-degree felony, they will also face penalties according to the amount of heroin possession in grams. Penalties are as follows:
- First degree felony – 4 to 200 grams, minimum of 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in grams
- First degree felony – 200 to 400 grams, minimum of 10 years in prison, up to $100,0000 in grams
- First degree felony – Over 400 grams, minimum of 15 years in prison, up to $250,000 in grams
Texas Penal Code: Heroin Crimes – Click the link to view Chapter 481 of the Texas Penal Code which constitutes the Controlled Substances Act. The webpage lists state laws and definitions related to drug crimes in Texas. The Texas Penal Code also offers information regarding drug crime penalties.
Texas State Board of Pharmacy: Controlled Drugs – Visit the Texas State Board of Pharmacy website to learn more information about controlled drugs. Click the link to view the list of drugs that fall under Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V categories. They are rated in the order of their abuse risk.
DEA: Drugs of Abuse – The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. Visit the webpage to read the 2020 resource guide on Drugs of Abuse.
Heroin Possession Attorney in Houston, TX
One of the biggest mistakes that alleged offenders make in heroin crimes is waiting to seek professional legal representation. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug-related offense, it’s best to seek legal counsel right away. We are prepared to advocate for your best interests.
Our experienced Houston drug crimes defense lawyer Matt Horak represents clients throughout the Houston, TX area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Liberty County, and Waller County. Your freedom is at stake. Call (713) 225-8000 as soon as possible to obtain a no-charge initial consultation.