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What Are the New York Heroin Laws?

September 26, 2014 New York Lawyers

The penalties for heroin-related crimes in New York depend on a few factors. First, it matters what you are doing with the heroin – penalties are different for heroin possession versus the sale of heroin. Also, if you are classified as a previous violent offender or have previous drug charges, your penalties will be worse. The amount of heroin involved also affects your sentence. Finally, your sentence depends on whether you are charged with a state crime or a federal crime.

For possession, the sentence depends on the amount of the drug involved. If you are charged with possession of:
– Less than 1/8 of an ounce, which is a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is up to a year in jail.
– 1/8 ounce or more, which is a Class C felony, you could spend 1 to 5 ½ years in prison, but second time offenders and previous violent offenders could face longer sentences.
– ½ ounce or more, which is a Class B felony, you could spend 1 to 9 years in prison, or more if you have previous drug or violence charges.
– 4 ounces or more, which is a Class A-III felony, you could spend 3 to 10 years in prison, or up to 17 years if you have previous drug or violence charges.
– 8 ounces or more, which is a Class A-I felony, you could spend 8 to 20 years in prison, or up to 30 years if you have previous drug or violence charges.

For sale, if you are charged with selling:
– Less than ½ ounce, which is a Class B felony, you could spend 1 to 9 years in prison, or more if you have previous drug or violence charges.
– ½ ounce or more, which is a Class A-II felony, you could spend 3 to 10 years in prison, or more.
– 2 ounces or more, which is a Class A-I felony, you could spend 8 to 20 years in prison, or even up to 30 years with previous drug or violence charges.

The sentences listed above are for state charges. If you are charged with a federal crime, the sentences will be different. For the possession of heroin, you will face a fine of up to $5,000 and a jail term of up to three years. For the sale of heroin, you will face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $4 million.

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