In March 2016, a plethora of overdose victims rolled into the emergency room at UC Davis Medical Center, which made doctors ask the most important question: What are we dealing with, and on what level? Many of these victims were appearing in hospitals with symptoms of opiate toxicity that were on an extreme level that they were not used to seeing. In the greater Sacramento region that same month, 36 people overdosed in one week and nine of those people died. Unfortunately, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of California took note that an increasing number of the people overdosing are teens, as well as adults. Sarah Pullen of the DEA said, in fact, “Heroin use has become a particular concern for the DEA because we’re seeing people using it at such a young age.”
In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that heroin use has increased by 80% among teens aged 12 to 17. Many people believe that the increase in use is because of the drug’s low cost and easy access, especially in southern California. Many of the people who once abused other drugs like the painkiller OxyContin are now switching to heroin use.
Fortunately for the state, heroin and many other narcotics are completely illegal under both federal and state laws. The laws that govern heroin in California are not lenient and even simple possession could land an offender with a felony charge. Luckily for offenders, there are treatment options, such as the significant Prop 36 put in place to help defendants get back on track. Proposition 36 is also known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, which went into law on July 1, 2001. This proposition says that anybody who is arrested for a non-violent drug crime will be given the opportunity to gain treatment instead of serving jail time.
California’s Penalties Under Health & safety 11000
- Possession: If you are caught in possession of heroin, you could receive time in state prison and a fine up to $70. You may have to serve additional requirements if probation becomes available as well. Even being caught with hypodermic syringes, needles, or other drug paraphernalia could subject you to prosecution under California’s possession laws.
- Sale: There are many different types of sales that could apply to your case, such s sale to minors, sale to school children, or sale that takes place on the grounds of a church or school. In many of these cases, you could serve anywhere between 3-5 years for your crime. You could also sustain a fine of up to $50,000 depending on the severity of your charge.
- Trafficking: If you are transporting or importing heroin, you could expect 3-5 years in prison. Furthermore, if you have transported to a noncontiguous county, you could see 3, 6, or 9 years.
The laws are constantly changing regarding heroin in California, which is why you must have an experienced defense attorney handling your case. Give us a call today for more information on how to proceed.