Heroin laws in Texas are very strict because of the public heath impacts of this drug. For people who are facing heroin charges, knowing the possible penalties and options for a defense are important.

There are several factors that can impact the severity of the penalties that you will be up against if you are facing these charges. Two of the primary factors include the amount of heroin in the case and where a heroin sale was conducted. Here are some points you need to know about heroin charges:

Heroin sale penalties

Heroin sale penalties range from a state jail felony up to a first degree felony. Less than one gram is the state jail felony. One to four grams is a second degree felony and four to 200 grams is a first degree felony.

The sale of 200 to 400 grams means that you are facing 10 to 99 years in prison with a life sentence possible. The sale of 400 grams or more can land you in prison for life or for 15 to 99 years.

The penalties are stricter if you are found selling heroin within a drug-free zone, such as near a school. The delivery to a minor who is still enrolled in school is also associated with harsher penalties.

Possession of heroin

The penalties for possession of heroin are similar to those of selling the drug. For less than one gram, it is a state jail felony. One to four grams is a third degree felony, four to 200 grams is a second degree felony, and 200 to 400 grams is a first degree felony. Having more than 400 grams of heroin in your possession can lead to life or 10 to 99 years in prison.

Alternative sentences

Some people who are facing a first time heroin charge might be able to enter into a plea deal or get an alternative sentence. A plea deal might help you get the charge reduced or have some control over the sentence you are facing.

Sometimes, drug court is possible for these charges. Texas law forbids drug court for people who are accused of a violent charge, so other charges that you have besides the heroin charge may impact the suitability of drug court.

You should think carefully about each option that you have for your defense. Whether you are ready to pursue a plea deal or plan to take the case to court, learning the choices you have can help you get started on your defense strategy.