Drug charges can lead to serious penalties for those who are involved. Heroin, in particular, is one drug that the state is looking to get off the streets. While other types of opioids may have medical uses, heroin is an illegal street drug with the potential to cause fatal overdoses.
There are some helpful laws in place for those using drugs illicitly. One important law that you should know about regarding heroin use is the Code of Virginia § 18.2-251.03 and its Good Samaritan law. This law protects those who seek emergency medical care for themselves or others due to drug- or alcohol-related overdoses. This is a type of affirmative defense, but it can be used in some cases to help prevent prosecutions or convictions.
How is heroin classified by the Virginia Drug Control Act?
Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug in Virginia’s Drug Control Act. As a Schedule I drug, heroin has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Since it is a Schedule I drug, the penalties associated with possession, the intent to sell or distribute the drug or the transportation of the substance are all significant.
For example, possessing heroin is automatically a Class 5 felony. A Class 5 felony can lead to imprisonment for up to 10 years. Fines may be as much as $2,500.
Intending to sell or distribute heroin may also lead to a felony conviction with imprisonment for between five and 40 years in Virginia. Fines can be as high as $500,000.
What should you do if you’re accused of selling, possessing or transporting heroin?
If you are accused of selling, possessing or transporting heroin, it’s important that you take those charges seriously. Your freedoms could be at risk, and you could face thousands in fines if you are convicted. The last thing you should do is ignore the allegations. Your attorney can talk with you to learn more about what happened and then to assist you in fighting those charges. Your goal should be to minimize the impact of a conviction or to prevent one in the first place.