If you’ve been charged with heroin possession, your freedom, career, and family life are all at stake. Texas law mandates crippling fines and long prison sentences for people convicted of possessing even relatively small amounts of heroin. For this reason, it’s essential that you retain the services of a reputable Houston heroin lawyer to defend your case. Attorney Ned Barnett has extensive experience defending his clients’ rights and leading them to positive resolutions.
What Are the Penalties for Heroin Possession in Texas?
You may face harsh criminal penalties if convicted of heroin possession. According to section 481.115 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, you may be convicted of heroin possession if a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and intentionally possessed heroin or a substance that contains heroin.
The legal penalties will depend on the amount of heroin found in your possession:
- Under 1 gram–State jail felony punishable by 180 days to 2 years behind bars and fines of up to $10,000
- 1 to 3.99 grams–Felony of the third degree carrying a penalty of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- 4 to 199 grams–Felony of the second degree involving a 2 to 20-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines
- 200 to 399 grams–Felony of the first degree punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- 400 grams or more–Felony of the first degree punishable by 10 years to life and fines of up to $100,000
A conviction for heroin possession involves more than just prison and fines. As a result of your felony drug conviction, you may also face:
- Court costs
- Completing probation requirements such as community service
- Drug abuse counseling and treatment at your own expense
- Deportation if you are an immigrant
- Losing the custody of your children
- Restricted voting rights
- Inability to own firearms
- Severely limited career prospects
This is all the more reason to take your case seriously. A capable Houston drug lawyer can help you obtain the dismissal of your charges or an acquittal. But even when proving your innocence isn’t an option, a skilled lawyer can help ensure that you avoid the harshest penalties and that you land on your feet after your conviction.
How Can Houston Heroin Lawyer Ned Barnett Help?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be one or more defense strategies available. When you consult with attorney Ned Barnett, he will utilize his experience as a Houston heroin lawyer to determine precisely which defense will work best in your case. But in general, heroin possession cases may be defended by:
- Suppressing the prosecutor’s evidence–In the United States, a criminal suspect cannot be convicted of a crime based on evidence that was obtained in violation of his or her rights. If the police found heroin in your home, vehicle, or on your person while conducting an illegal search, your lawyer can ask the judge to remove that evidence from the prosecutor’s case by filing a motion to suppress.
- Seeking the dismissal of your charges–Depending on the prosecutor’s evidence, and whether the motion to suppress succeeds, your lawyer may file a motion to dismiss the charges. This is an option when the available evidence doesn’t firmly connect you with the crime.
- Proving reasonable doubt–It may be in your best interest to go to trial and to prove your innocence. If your lawyer can show that there is a reasonable possibility that you did not intentionally possess the heroin, or that the substance you had was not in fact heroin, you may be acquitted of your charges.
- Negotiating with the prosecution—In some instances, it may not be in your best interests to go to trial. If this is the case your attorney must negotiate a reasonable settlement with the prosecutor. This option is often available to first offenders. For repeat offenders, enrollment in a court-supervised treatment program may be an alternative to incarceration.
You may feel like your heroin possession case is hopeless, but there may be several options available to you. Your criminal charges don’t have to ruin your life. Attorney Ned Barnett is ready to stand with you to ensure that you receive an exhaustive defense.
For more information on how he can help, call (713) 222-6767 today for your free case consultation.