Considered one of the most addicting of controlled substances, being arrested or charged for heroin is a serious offense and requires an experienced drug crimes lawyer familiar with California drug laws regarding heroin. Where possession of heroin is an issue rather than sale of heroin, some treatment centers will not accept users of heroin due to the severe addiction it causes in people.
This is even more of a reason to get professional advice so as to navigate the complex rehabilitation industry so that the court may give favorable treatment to someone that truly wants it. Additionally, police agencies carry different policies in determining what kind of case weighs heavily towards possession of heroin versus dealing heroin. This is due to the fact that certain departments notice specific drug trends in their jurisdiction. Therefore, one city may see a case as being possession whereas another city finds stronger evidence that it’s sales. Therefore, the police practices of that particular city is an important factor the court will consider in qualifying the person for the kind of punishment they are facing.
Heroin possession carries serious pitfalls for some clients. With the experience of so many drug courts and felony calendar courts, may defendants suffer prior drug charges prior to obtaining a possession case of Heroin. The reasons for this are tenfold. But in a nutshell, Heroin is rarely a gateway drug. Carrying a penalty of up to a year in local jail, there are options in getting qualified for drug treatment rather than incarceration. However, based on the notes above, this becomes a challenge when the client has had run-ins with the courts before and may or may not have successfully completed past programs. If this is the case, fighting for lesser punishment becomes the next best option after investigating for unlawful arrests or searches.
Another challenge in Heroin possession cases is the acceptance rates for some treatment facilities. Depending on where the arrest was will determine where the courtroom that prosecutes the client will be. Because of this, some courthouses do not have as many programs that treat certain drugs simply because of supply and demand. An experienced drug defense lawyer is helpful in determining what options are out there and where the sentence or treatment for the client can be creative. This can mean any number of combinations between treatment, community service, split-sentences, local prison confinement with residential transfers, etc.