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David M. Dudley, a federal and state criminal defense attorney, has an almost unparalleled degree of experience defending people accused of drug charges involving heroin. In addition, he has successfully represented defendants that have been charged under federal organized crime statutes.

Heroin was declared a federally controlled substance in 1914 under the Harrison Narcotic Act. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified heroin as a Schedule I drug. This means the substance has a high potential for addiction and no medicinal value.

This highly addictive drug is the fastest acting of all the opiates. It can be injected, smoked, sniffed or snorted. One reason it is so addictive, both physically as well as psychologically, is that it enters the brain so rapidly.

Drug addicts using heroin say that at first the drug results in a rush of euphoria. After that the abuser goes into a twilight state of sleep and wakefulness, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. When someone uses heroin regularly, he or she develops a tolerance for the drug. This means that to get the same effect, the abuser must take more and more of the drug.

Drug Charges Involving Heroin

To possess or sell heroin is illegal in all 50 states. Specific laws vary from state to state, but the consequences of possessing, selling, manufacturing or distributing heroin are all severe, regardless of the state you are in.

Charges for simple possession are different from charges for distribution. Whether a crime is labeled drug trafficking depends on how much of the substance is involved, not upon the movement of the drug from one place to another.

Excessive amounts of heroin are deemed trafficking. Federal trafficking penalties for heroin, as a Schedule I drug, depend on the amount of heroin being sold and whether the crime is a first or second offense. Selling between 100 and 999 grams of heroin are penalized harshly, but not as harshly as selling 1 kilogram or more of heroin. Penalties for selling between 100 and 999 grams can range from a minimum of not less than five years in prison and fines of not more than $5 million.

Range of Penalties for Heroin

When the amount sold is one kilogram or more of heroin, penalties range at the low end, for a first offense, of not less than 10 years in prison to not more than life. Fines can range from not more than $10 million at the lowest end of the scale, to not more than $20 million for individuals. If the person is convicted of two or more prior offenses, imprisonment is for life. The fine is not more than $20 million if the convict is an individual.

When facing such harsh penalties, it is important to have the best defense available. To speak with an attorney who has more than 25 years of experience defending people with similar charges, contact Mr. Dudley today. He’s handled cases in both the trial and appellate courts, state and federal, and is admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

Drug Charges Involving Heroin: Selected Case Results:

  • U.S. v. H.R.: the defendant was accused of being the right-hand man to the leader of a drug-trafficking conspiracy responsible for distributing over 250 kilograms of heroin from Los Angeles, California to Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri. Of the 20 defendants indicted in the case, the defendant who retained Attorney Dudley immediately upon his arrest was the only one who was released on bond. The defendant received was the second lowest penalty imposed in the case, including sentences imposed upon several defendants who had only a very limited involvement in the heroin conspiracy and other defendants who, unlike Mr. Dudley’s client, provided substantial assistance to the government’s investigation.