Federal Heroin Charge Lawyer
Assisting Individuals Facing Federal Heroin Charges with Asserting a Powerful Defense to their Charge in Federal Court
Heroin is an extremely powerful drug, and the dangers of abuse and overdose can lead to the possibility of criminal charges. In some instances, drug charges, including those that involve heroin, are handled at the state level. However, because using and selling heroin can have deadly consequences, the federal authorities are continuing to become more involved. This is especially true in cases where selling and distributing heroin leads to deaths that result from an overdose.
If you are facing federal heroin charges, you can be sure that the federal authorities will prosecute your criminal case aggressively. Upon conviction of a heroin offense, you are almost guaranteed a harsh penalty – including the possibility of prison time in accordance with United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The skilled federal criminal defense lawyers at the Joslyn Law Firm regularly defend clients in cases arising out of federal drug charges. When you select our firm to handle your case, you can be assured of confident, result-oriented legal representation both inside and outside the courtroom. Call today at 614-444-1900 or contact us online to see how we could assist you with defending against your criminal drug charge.
Under federal law, as well as the laws of all 50 states, it is illegal to possess or distribute heroin. Heroin, like opium and morphine, is derived from the opium poppy. Heroin may come in the form of a powder and could be dissolved in water and then injected into the user’s body or snorted. When heroin enters the user’s body, it changes to morphine after it is ingested.
In the United States, it is against the law to possess, distribute, or manufacture heroin – in any amount or for any purpose. Violating this law could lead to charges at the state level or at the federal level. Federal charges are especially common in cases where the heroin comes into the United States from another country or is sold or distributed across state lines.
Defining Heroin Possession
The act of having possession over a drug, including heroin, means owning, having, or controlling the drug at some point in time. When it comes to heroin possession, there are two basic types: simple possession and constructive possession. A person could be charged and convicted of simple heroin possession in a case where the person knowingly has the drug on his or her physical body. Simple possession could include having the drug in a pocket – or even in bag or suitcase that the person is carrying. In order to knowingly possess a drug, the individual must be aware that he or she is possessing an unlawful substance.
A person could also be charged with constructive possession of heroin. In other words, the drug does not need to be found directly on the accused’s person in order for him or her to be charged with possession. Rather, the drug only needs to be in the general vicinity over which the accused has immediate control. To obtain a conviction for constructive heroin possession, the federal prosecutor must be able to demonstrate that:
- The accused had the intent and the power to control the illegal substance
- The accused was fully aware that the illegal substance that he or she exercised control over was heroin
A person could be charged with heroin possession based on constructive possession principles if the drug was found in a home or motor vehicle where the accused had recently been present. However, in that instance, the accused might be able to allege that he or she was unaware of the drug’s presence in the home or vehicle. A person might also be charged with constructive heroin possession if the heroin is discovered in a hotel room where he or she was recently a guest, in a warehouse that he or she recently used, or in a parcel that had been addressed and recently delivered to the accused.
Common Defenses to a Heroin Charge
In a federal case that involves a heroin possession or distribution charge, the accused could raise several legal defenses to the charge. Particularly in cases of constructive heroin possession, the accused might contend that he or she was not aware of the presence of heroin in the location where it was ultimately discovered. Also, in cases involving constructive possession, the accused might argue that even if the drug was discovered in the accused’s vicinity, he or she did not have any degree of power or control over the location where the drug was found – such as where the accused was not the owner of the home or vehicle where the heroin was discovered.
The accused might also argue that the heroin was found pursuant to an unlawful search or seizure of the accused’s person under the Fourth Amendment, or pursuant to a search warrant that was not valid. Finally, the accused could argue that the heroin was discovered in violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. An experienced federal heroin charge attorney can examine the facts of your case and work on formulating the best possible defense to assert in court on your behalf.
Speak with a Federal Heroin Charge Attorney Today About Your Legal Matter
A federal conviction for heroin possession or distribution could land you in serious trouble. For example, the potential penalty for a conviction of a first-time heroin charge is up to one year in jail, a minimum fine of $1,000, or some combination of both. Lawyer Brian Joslyn and the Joslyn Law Firm zealously advocates for individuals who are facing federal drug possession and distribution charges, including those that involve heroin. We can explore all of your legal options, including negotiating with a federal prosecutor in pursuit of a favorable plea deal or litigating your case in a courtroom before a federal jury.
To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced federal heroin charge attorney, give us a call today at 614-444-1900 or contact us online for more information about how we could help defend you in your criminal legal matter.