Timothy O. McCalep

Penalties for heroin charges are very harsh

The heroin epidemic is something that has impacted the entire country. Georgia isn't any exception to this challenge that is plaguing the nation. This is one of the reasons why Georgia has taken such a harsh stance against all criminal cases that involve this drug.

Many people are surprised by just how much time in prison is associated with even possession charges for heron. They might also be surprised to learn that some heroin convictions can come with a life sentence. This is the reason why you need to plan your defense carefully when heroin charges are part of your case.

The possession of heroin on a first conviction comes with the possibility of two to 15 years in prison. There is a two-year minimum sentence for this conviction, so people will have to deal with at least this sentence. Subsequent convictions come with even more time. On a subsequent conviction, you are looking at a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

Being convicted of a first offense of selling heroin means that you are looking at least five years in prison with a possible sentence of up to 30 years. If you are convicted of a subsequent count of selling heroin, you get a sentence of life in prison.

The trafficking sentences for heroin are just as harsh. For 4 to 14 grams, you face a sentence of five years. That increases to 10 years if you have 14 to 28 grams, or 25 years for more than 28 grams. All of the sentences for trafficking are mandatory, so there isn't any leniency for the judge to opt for a lesser sentence.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Heroin Laws," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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