Heroin is a Schedule I narcotic in California, which means that there aren’t any accepted medical uses for it. Crimes involving heroin are often felonies, but they may be misdemeanors in certain situations.
Misdemeanor versus felony
Heroin drug crimes are usually a felony in California. If you only have a simple possession charge for personal use, then it’s likely to be a misdemeanor in your situation. Personal use penalties entail up to one year in jail and up to a $20,000 fine. Summary probation, also known as misdemeanor probation, is possible with a personal use charge. It’s usually on your first offense that you have a chance at summary probation instead of jail time.
Transporting and selling heroin
Charges for transporting and selling heroin are punishable by up to nine years in prison and a $20,000 fine. How far you transported the drug and how much you possessed will impact the severity of your sentence.
Drug diversion program
Those who were using heroin for personal use might have the option to go through a drug diversion program. This program would allow you to receive treatment for your drug use problem instead of serving time in jail. Upon successful completion of the program, the judge would dismiss your charges.
If you have a previous felony, there’s a chance that your heroin drug charge will also be a felony. Examples of felonies in which this could be the case are sex crimes and murder. A felony heroin possession charge could result in up to four years in prison.
Possession, selling or transporting heroin could result in prison time and a hefty fine in California. If it’s your first offense, then you might have the option of summary probation or dismissing the charge through a drug diversion program.