Heroin is seen as a dangerous and highly addictive drug, so in New York, the consequences for heroin possession and sale are quite harsh. Here’s an overview of the state’s heroin laws you should know.
New York heroin laws
You will find laws regarding controlled substances in New York Penal Code, Article 220. This article defines the unlawful sale and possession of any controlled substance as well as the possible penalties. If you’re caught selling or in possession of heroin, it’s likely that you’ll face criminal charges.
Heroin possession and penalties
If you are caught with heroin in New York, you could face a criminal charge of possession in the third degree. This is a class E felony, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you’re convicted of possession in the second degree, you could face up to seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The most serious charge for heroin possession is possession in the first degree, which is a class A-II felony. This charge can result in up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Sale of heroin in New York
In New York, the penalties associated with selling heroin depend on the amount of heroin found in one’s possession. For example:
- Less than 500 milligrams is a Class B felony and can result in up to nine years in prison.
- At least 500 milligrams but less than 2 grams is a Class A-II felony and can result in up to 11 years of incarceration.
- Two grams or more but less than four grams is also a Class A-II felony and could result in 15 years behind bars; if it is at least 4 grams but less than 16 grams, it can lead to 25 years imprisonment.
- If there were between 16 grams and 2 ounces, then the crime is classified as a Class A-I felony and can result in up to life imprisonment.
If charged with heroin sale or possession, it is important that you understand your legal rights. Depending on the nature of your crime, you might be able to mount a defense that helps reduce your penalties or discard them altogether.