Federal and Washington state law prohibits the sale and possession of heroin. If you are found to be in possession of this controlled substance, you may face a variety of penalties such as jail time and a fine. However, you may be offered the chance to participate in a drug diversion program if you haven’t been charged with a drug crime before.
Alternative sentences for first-time offenders
The state offers a number of programs such as the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) program and drug diversion for those who lack a criminal record. It may also be made available to those who do have a criminal history depending on the facts of each case. An element of your criminal defense against a drug charge may be to assert that treatment is more appropriate than incarceration in your proceeding.
Typical heroin possession or sale penalties
If you are convicted of simple possession of heroin, you could spend up to five years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties for selling this substance include a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000. Penalties may be enhanced if a sale occurred near a school or you sold the drug to a minor.
A conviction for selling or possessing a controlled substance may result in a significant interruption to your life. In addition to spending time in prison, you may also forfeit the right to obtain student loans or be denied access to other state or federal assistance programs. However, it may be possible to obtain a favorable result in your case by casting doubt about physical evidence, witness testimony or anything else used to justify the charges that you face.