Heroin and Fentanyl Criminal Charges
Heroin and Fentanyl are highly addictive opioid substances that in recent times have been widespread across St. Louis and St. Charles metropolitan areas. They are most commonly prevalent in powder or capsule form which is itself ingested or is sometimes directly injected into the body by way of a syringe. Even though these are non-violent crimes, prosecutors take these charges very seriously because ingestion or distribution could lead to serious injury or death.
The range of punishment often stretches from a D Felony all the way to an A felony, which carries a 10-year minimum sentence.
Prosecutors in some counties in Missouri are even charging those who distribute heroin that leads to an overdose as Assault. Many users are struggling with an addiction and need legal help and treatment. Fortunately, the Krupp Law Firm and its attorneys know what to do in this situation.
Overview of Missouri Law on Heroin Charges:
Heroin Possession: D Felony
Heroin and Fentanyl are considered Schedule I Controlled Substance as defined by Missouri Law.
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of possession of a controlled substance if he or she knowingly possesses a controlled substance, except as authorized by Missouri Law.
The offense of possession of any controlled substance except thirty-five grams or less of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is a class D felony. Thus, possession of heroin or fentanyl in any quantity may result in a D Felony charge.
Distribution of Heroin: C to B Felony
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of delivery of a controlled substance if, except as authorized in this law he or she:
Knowingly distributes or delivers a controlled substance, attempts to distribute or deliver a controlled substance, knowingly possesses a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or deliver any amount of a controlled substance; knowingly permits a minor to purchase or transport illegally obtained controlled substances.
Except when the controlled substance is thirty-five grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid or as otherwise provided by law, the offense of delivery of a controlled substance is a class C felony.
The offense of delivery of a controlled substance is a class B felony if the delivery or distribution is any amount of a controlled substance except thirty-five grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid, to a person less than seventeen years of age who is at least two years younger than the defendant; or the person knowingly permits a minor to purchase or transport illegally obtained controlled substances.
Therefore, in Missouri, if you are accused of distributing any amount of heroin or fentanyl to a minor less than seventeen yeas old who is at least two years younger than you, then you may be charged with the more severe B level felony which carries a considerably more harsh sentence than the regular distribution charge and contains a mandatory minimum prison sentence unlike the possession charge.
Distribution of a Heroin in a Protected Location: A Felony
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of distribution of a controlled substance in a protected location if he or she knowingly distributes, sells, or delivers any controlled substance, except thirty-five grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid, to a person with knowledge that that distribution, delivery or sale is: In, on, or within two thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school, or on any school bus; or in, on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public park, state park, county park, municipal park, or private park designed for public recreational purposes, as park is defined; or in or on the real property comprising public housing or other governmental assisted housing.
Therefore, any distribution of heroin in a protected location as defined by Missouri law could result in a charge which is an A level felony which carries with it a 10-year minimum prison sentence and could result in life in prison, depending on the circumstances.
How Krupp Law Firm Helps Your Case
The Krupp Law Firm closely looks at the evidence against you right from the beginning with the idea that any criminal charge might go to trial. We analyze your defenses and compare them to what sort of treatment you could benefit from in a drug court or treatment plan, rather than fighting the case. If the case needs to be fought, the Krupp Law Firm has experience on both sides of these cases and has fought and won heroin cases in court.
Drug Courts and Treatment
St. Louis, St. Charles and other counties are putting a lot of emphasis on their drug and recovery courts. These courts are aimed at helping individuals who struggle with addiction, rather than prosecuting them. These courts are especially geared toward heroin and fentanyl addicts because of the rate of addiction and its dangers. The Krupp Law Firm has handled many cases in which someone addicted to dangerous substances benefited greatly from these drug court treatment plans and can help you decided if the program is right for your situation.