Understand the penalties you face and how best to defend your rights.
In 2015 more Americans died of drug overdoses than ever before – 50,000 people. Nearly 13,000 of those were heroin-related deaths. In Pennsylvania in 2015 there were 3,383 overdose deaths – 9 per day – according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA.)
As the use of heroin rises across the United States and in Pennsylvania, police and district attorneys are determined to put offenders behind bars.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with possession of heroin or charged with PWID heroin, you face very tough penalties under Pennsylvania law. Even first-time offenders with no prior criminal convictions face severe and life-altering penalties, including up to two years in prison.
A heroin conviction also means a criminal record, which can affect everything in your future … employment, college, loans, housing, etc.
Having a tough, skilled and aggressive criminal attorney on your side could make a big difference in the outcome of your case. There may be drug treatment programs available in lieu of jail time or persuasive defense strategies in making a not guilty plea.
Being charged with a heroin crime does not mean you are guilty or will be convicted. Your charges can be fought and won in court.
If you or a loved one was arrested for heroin simple possession or heroin PWID, remember that, until convicted of a crime, there are many options to defend a person’s innocence and have sentencing reduced or dismissed.
A skilled and aggressive Pittsburgh heroin lawyer will work toward building a strong legal defense to have the heroin charges reduced or the case dismissed.
For a free case evaluation, call our experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Drug Lawyer, Christopher Thomas today.
Attorney Thomas has years of experience in defending the rights of people charged with drug crimes in Western Pennsylvania. He can answer your questions and give you options for how to proceed.
At SMA Law Group, we want to help you minimize the negative impact a heroin arrest will have on your life and future.
Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug under the 1972 Controlled Substances Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act of Pennsylvania and the United States Federal Drug Trafficking Laws.
The punishments a judge may sentence you are highly dependent on the amount of heroin you were charged with and whether this is a first offense or if you have been previously convicted of a similar offense. A second offense or multiple offenses come with much harsher penalties.
A simple possession charge of less than one gram of heroin is a misdemeanor and could put you behind bars for up to one year for a first offense. Second or third offenses could mean up to three years in prison.
Buying heroin in Pennsylvania is also a separate crime and could count as two separate charges. Possession of heroin paraphernalia (syringe, spoon, etc.) is also a misdemeanor and could include up to a year in jail, plus a $2,500 fine.
Other penalties like losing your license, being ineligible to purchase or own a weapon or loss of child custody could also apply.
Speak to a Pittsburgh Drug Lawyer for more information on the types of penalties you face and how best to defend your rights.
The punishment for Possession with Intent to Deliver or Distribute (PWID) in Pennsylvania are very harsh. Penalties depend on the quantity of heroin, whether it is a first offense or second/third offense. You face much harsher penalties if you are charged with PWID inside a school zone or to a minor or while in possession of a weapon. Read about PWID Sentencing Guidelines in PA.
Being convicted on PWID Heroin is a felony that will remain on your criminal record.
First offense of PWID Heroin Conviction in Pennsylvania:
Call an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Drug Lawyer today for a free legal consultation.
Our experienced criminal drug lawyers try our best to make a positive difference in our clients’ lives by providing solid legal advice and preparing strong and aggressive defense strategies.
Our sole aim is to get your heroin charges reduced or withdrawn altogether.
It is not uncommon for the PA legal system and the Pennsylvania Drug Court to allow first-time drug offenders and repeat offenders to receive treatment instead of going to jail.
A skilled and experienced lawyer can help you and your family understand the programs available and whether you are eligible, like the ARD program. Our drug attorneys can also help negotiate a plea for these programs during a hearing or trial.
Drug diversionary programs such as ARD are typically not something you can simply opt for, but you need the permission of the District Attorney to be accepted. We can help you with that process.
Pennsylvania judges have discretion when sentencing for some crimes and it is common for penalties to be reduced to probation or community service in lieu of jail time. However, certain crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences in Pennsylvania and the judge is required to sentence you to at least the minimum penalty, if convicted.
This is why it is important to have an experienced drug attorney to try to negotiate for a lesser charge or fight for your innocence.
Our experienced Pittsburgh Drug Attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, build a strong defense strategy and negotiate with the courts and plea your case in order to increase your chances of having your charges reduced or withdrawn.
We believe that people are inherently good. But good people make mistakes and some are falsely accused. A harsh punishment is rarely productive for anyone.
Defendants also have families who bear the burden of their loved one being sentenced to jail and losing their job or their license. Many people need treatment programs, not harsh sentencing, especially when entire families are at stake.
Our aggressive and hard working drug attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.
Everyone has unique situations and we take the time to listen to your story and fully understand the situation so that we can do everything possible to defend your rights.
Attorney Thomas and the SMA Law Criminal Defense Team are here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defend your rights and get your future on track.