Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin is typically injected but may also be smoked, snorted, or inhaled. There are a number of different Heroin Charges in Texas that lead to arrests or time in jail.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that in 2016, about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year, a number that has been on the rise since 2007. The number of people using heroin for the first time was 170,000 in 2016, nearly double the 90,000 people in 2006.

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Heroin Charges Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

Were you recently arrested for any kind of alleged heroin crime in Arlington, Grand Prairie, Fort Worth, or another community in Tarrant County? It is going to be extremely important for you to quickly find yourself a criminal defense attorney who can help you fight the criminal charges.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended countless individuals all over North Texas against many different kinds of drug charges and we will be able to work to help you avoid major consequences for your arrest. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to have our firm sit down with you and take the time to really go over your case in great detail during a free consultation.

State Heroin Charges in Tarrant County

People could be charged with a number of different crimes in Texas state courts for heroin. Heroin is classified in Penalty Group 1 in Texas, the most serious Drug Penalty Group.

Possession of heroin offenses are perhaps the most common criminal charge and are typically classified as follows:

  • Less than 1 gram — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 1-4 grams — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 4-200 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 200-400 grams — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • More than 400 grams — First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000
 

Offenses involving the alleged manufacture or delivery of heroin can result in even steeper penalties. These offenses are generally classified as follows:

  • Less than 1 gram — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 1-4 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 4-200 grams — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • 200-400 grams — First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000
  • More than 400 grams — First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000
 

Additional statutes that could come into play in a heroin case could include Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.125 for possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia. Simple possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor with only a fine of up to $500, but delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.141, the manufacture or delivery of controlled substances causing death or serious bodily injury could lead to an increase in criminal charges such that a second-degree felony would become a first-degree felony. This statute provides that an offense is increased by one degree when the judge or jury, whichever is the trier of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt that a person died or suffered serious bodily injury as a result of injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or introducing into the person’s body any amount of the controlled substance manufactured or delivered by the alleged offender.

Finally, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.134 relating to drug-free zones establishes that an alleged offense committed in, on, or within 1,000 feet of premises owned, rented, or leased by an institution of higher learning, the premises of a public or private youth center, or a playground; or in, on, or within 300 feet of the premises of a public swimming pool or video arcade facility will be punishable at the next highest grade, such that a state jail felony becomes a third-degree felony and a second-degree felony becomes a first-degree felony.

As it relates to this statute, an institution of higher education is defined as any public or private technical institute, junior college, senior college or university, medical or dental unit, or other agency of higher education as defined by Texas Education Code § 61.003. A playground is defined as any outdoor facility that is not on the premises of a school and that is intended for recreation, is open to the public, and contains three or more play stations intended for the recreation of children, such as slides, swing sets, and teeterboards.

A premises is defined as real property and all buildings and appurtenances pertaining to the real property. A school means a private or public elementary or secondary school or a day-care center, as defined by Texas Human Resources Code § 42.002.

A video arcade facility is defined as any facility that is open to the public, including persons who are 17 years of age or younger; is intended primarily for the use of pinball or video machines, and contains at least three pinballs or video machines. A youth center is defined as any recreational facility or gymnasium that is intended primarily for use by persons who are 17 years of age or younger and regularly provides athletic, civic, or cultural activities.

Federal Heroin Penalties in Texas

Federal agencies also prosecute drug crimes in North Texas, and major heroin busts could result in federal charges. Under 21 U.S. Code § 841, the first conviction for heroin possession is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000 fine.

When a person has a prior drug conviction, a heroin possession charge could lead to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If an alleged offender has two prior drug offense convictions, then a new conviction becomes punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

When an alleged offender is accused of manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute heroin, criminal penalties are increased as follows:

  • Less than 99 grams — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million for an individual or $5 million if other than an individual
  • 100-999 grams — Up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5 million for an individual or $25 million if other than an individual
  • 100–999 grams with death or serious bodily injury — Up to 20 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $5 million for an individual or $25 million if other than an individual
  • 100–999 grams with a prior drug conviction — Up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $8 million for an individual or $50 million if other than an individual
  • 100–999 grams with both a prior drug conviction and death or serious bodily injury occurring — Up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $8 million for an individual or $50 million if other than an individual
  • More than 1 kilogram — Up to 10 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10 million for an individual or $50 million if other than an individual
  • More than 1 kilogram with death or serious bodily injury — Up to 20 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10 million for an individual or $50 million if other than an individual
  • More than 1 kilogram with prior drug conviction — Up to 20 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $20 million for an individual or $75 million if other than an individual
  • More than 1 kilogram with both a prior drug conviction and death or serious bodily injury occurring — Up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $20 million for an individual or $75 million if other than an individual
  • More than 1 kilogram with two prior drug offenses — Up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $20 million for an individual or $75 million if other than an individual

Fort Worth, TX Heroin Charges Resources

Narcotics | Fort Worth Police Department — Visit this website to learn more about the narcotics section of the Fort Worth Police Department. Heroin is among the drugs discussed on this page. You can also learn more about the Metro Narcotic Intelligence Coordination Unit (MNICU).

Signs of Heroin Addiction | Heroin Addiction Treatment in Fort Worth — Use this website to learn more about some of the signs of heroin addiction. Physical signs could include the inability to stop using, feeling ill or passing out, losing weight, or focusing more on the drug than on other things in life. Fort Behavioral Health offers such solutions as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, EMDR therapy, trauma therapy, and family therapy.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Heroin Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you were arrested for any kind of alleged heroin crime in the greater Fort Worth area of Tarrant County, you cannot hesitate in seeking dedicated legal counsel. You are going to need a strong defense against your criminal charges in order to avoid some of the most consequential penalties.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will do what is necessary to help protect your freedom and can fight to make sure that you are able to avoid any major consequences. You can have our firm review your case and talk about the different defense options you may have as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.