What are the penalties for Heroin related charges? Heroin is a schedule 1 substance narcotic. This article only discusses possession and selling for charges involving relatively small amounts of heroin. Keep in mind the potential penalties increase as the amount of heroin at issue increases.
Use of heroin is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000.00 fine, or both. MCL 333.7404.
Possession of Heroin
Possession of less than 25 grams of heroin is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $25,000.00, or both.
Possession of heroin in an amount between 25 grams and 50 grams is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $25,000.00 fine, or both. MCL 333.7403.
You may have noticed that the potential penalty for possession of heroin under 25 grams and between 25 and 50 grams is the same. Why is that? Most likely for the treatment of the 7411 statute, which is a drug deferral program.
7411 Drug Deferral Program
7411 is a way to keep a heroin possession of your record. A guilty plea under 7411 will make your case non-public. 7411 can only be used for possession charges involving drug amounts of less than 25 grams. Upon successful completion of a probationary period, the case will remain non-public. Failure to successfully complete probation, however, could result in the conviction going on your public record. The 7411 deferral can only be used once. MCL 333.7411.
Drug Overdose Exception
A person suffering from an overdose or a person helping the overdosed person has protection from prosecution. The evidence of drug use or possession must come from the fact the person went to the hospital. The amount of heroin must be in an amount for personal use.
Selling Heroin or Possession with Intent to Sell
The sale of heroin in an amount under 50 grams is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both
The sale of heroin in an amount over 50 grams but under 450 grams is a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
In addition, the sale of heroin is considered a major narcotics violation, which is an offense that is ineligible for HYTA.
Also to keep in mind, the potential penalties can increase for a second or subsequent conviction for selling heroin.
The police do not need to catch you in the act of selling or with a large quantity of heroin for you to be charged with selling or delivery of heroin. The charge often depends on what is found in your possession in addition to the heroin. For example, the police might look for scales, baggies, or text message conversation discussing heroin.
Operating Under the Influence of Heroin
Driving with any amount of heroin in your system is a crime. The operating with the presence of a schedule 1 substance or cocaine law makes driving with “any amount” of heroin a crime. Intoxication or impairment by heroin is not an element of the offense. Merely the presence of any amount of heroin is sufficient for a conviction. This means you could be convicted even if you used heroin hours before and are no longer under the influence. MCL 257.625.
Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense lawyer in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.