Heroin is an opioid that is made from morphine, which is taken from opium poppies. It can come in powder form, or it can come in the sticky form of black tar heroin. Heroin is also known as smack, hell dust, horse, and big H. Heroin crimes are taken very seriously by Florida prosecutors and carry substantial penalties. If you are arrested or are being investigated for possession, trafficking, or another offense involving heroin, you should consult an experienced Miami heroin crime lawyer at The Hoffman Firm.Types of Heroin Crimes Charged in Florida
Heroin crimes include actual or constructive possession, possession with intent to sell, sale, distribution, manufacturing, and trafficking. Heroin possession is an offense in which somebody holds heroin for personal use. Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance. It is a third-degree felony to possess even an amount less than 4 grams of heroin. This is because heroin is believed to have a high potential for abuse.
Heroin possession, whether actual or constructive, can lead to a sentence of a maximum of 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation, and a $5,000 fine. You can also have your driver's license revoked for a year. These are serious consequences, so you should promptly retain a heroin crime attorney in the Miami area if you may be facing this charge.
You can be convicted of heroin sale or delivery under section 893.13(1)(a)(1) if you sell, make, or deliver some amount of heroin or possess any heroin while intending to make, sell, manufacture, or deliver it. Heroin sale or delivery is a more serious crime than possession and is a second-degree felony. This means that you may face a maximum of 15 years in prison, 15 years on probation, and a $10,000 fine.
If you are caught with at least 4 grams of heroin, you can be charged with heroin trafficking. The heroin involved need not be pure. The threshold weight is determined by the weight of the entire mixture that contains heroin, instead of the pure heroin. Heroin trafficking is a very serious charge that is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence. In other words, the judge will not have discretion over the sentence simply because it is a first offense or there are other mitigating circumstances.
Different mandatory minimum penalties may be applied, depending on how much heroin is being trafficked. When 4-14 grams of heroin are trafficked, the mandatory minimum penalty is 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. When 14-28 grams are trafficked, the mandatory minimum penalty is 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
When 28 grams-30 kilograms of heroin are trafficked, the mandatory minimum penalty is 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. When 30 kilograms or more of heroin are trafficked, the mandatory minimum penalty is life imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.
There are various defenses that your Miami heroin crime attorney may be able to raise on your behalf. In some cases, it may be appropriate to raise procedural defenses. For example, if the heroin was found in an illegal search and seizure, it may be possible to get this evidence suppressed. Without the evidence of heroin, the prosecutor might not be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. It also may be possible to prove lack of knowledge of the heroin or temporary possession. If the charge is constructive possession, the prosecutor must show that you had knowledge of the heroin's presence, as well as that you had control and dominion over it. If, for example, the police found heroin in a common room of a shared house, it would be necessary for the prosecutor to prove that you knew that the heroin was there and that you had control of it before they could obtain a conviction.Consult a Knowledgeable Heroin Crime Lawyer in the Miami Region
If you are charged with a heroin crime in South Florida, it is important to hire an experienced attorney. At The Hoffman Firm, we look closely at the circumstances of each client's case before crafting the strongest available defense. Attorney Evan Hoffman provides vigorous, knowledgeable representation to people accused of many types of crimes in Miami, as well as North Miami, Key Biscayne, Aventura, Miami Beach, and the surrounding cities. Call The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.