Heroin use has become such an epidemic in our country that states have adopted laws that specifically address and set out sentences for its use, possession and distribution. Pennsylvania is no exception.
In the state of Pennsylvania, heroin can be charged as a simple misdemeanor for possession of less than 1 gram, sentenced to 1 year in prison and a fine up to $5,000 fine, up to a felony and 15 years in prison for multiple offenses or distribution. Further, a fine of $250,000 or higher can be assessed against a defendant to recover drug profit depending on the scope of the operation. Sales to minors result in double penalties across the board.
Purchasing heroin in Pennsylvania is a separate offense from possession. It can be tacked on as an additional charge for any party found in possession. The actual purchase does not have to be witnessed. Therefore, basically any contact with heroin from either side can result in a criminal charge. Other possible charges include paraphernalia, which can stem from the possession of a spoon, lighter or syringe.
Pennsylvania does offer a drug court program for certain offenders offering the chance to receive treatment for addiction and recovery. An attorney can explain this program and its requirements further.
If you have been charged with any crime involving heroin, discuss your options with an experienced attorney prior to agreeing to any plea bargain or heading to trial. He or she could prove instrumental in getting your charges reduced or even dropped.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Pennsylvania Heroin Laws," accessed Dec. 31, 2017