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Harsh heroin laws require careful defense planning

The laws in Georgia take a very harsh stance against opioid drugs, including heroin. The current heroin crisis in this country can't be ignored and Georgia is attempting to do its part to help clean up the issue. Unfortunately, this effort is coming in the form of severe punishments in the criminal justice system. It does little to address the underlying addiction that is often at the heart of the matter.

If you are facing criminal charges related to heroin, you must work on your defense early so that you can address the necessary ramifications. Trying to ignore the case or pushing off starting on your strategy might mean that you are going into hearings unprepared. When you think about the consequences you are facing, you can see why working hard on the defense is imperative.

Harsh penalties

The charge you face is determined by the circumstances. One of these factors is how much heroin you have when you are arrested. If you have more than four grams, your case is going to fall under the category of trafficking. At a minimum, you are facing five years in prison. This is a mandatory sentence. If you have 14 to 28 grams, that mandatory minimum period increases to 10 years. More than 28 grams has a mandatory minimum of 25 years.

Selling heroin comes with a five to 30 year sentence. This is a felony charge. If you are convicted of a subsequent charge of selling, you are looking at spending the rest of your life in prison.

Even possessing heroin for your own use comes with harsh sentences, and all possession charges are felonies. At a minimum, you are facing two to 15 years in prison if it is your first conviction. A subsequent one comes with a five to 30 sentence.

Juveniles facing charges

A juvenile who is facing a heroin charge may be sentenced to complete a diversion program. Some juveniles might be tried in the adult court system, depending on the severity of the case.

Regardless of what type of heroin charge you are facing, you have rights. These include the right to have an attorney represent you throughout your case and being able to present a defense against the charges. These work hand in hand, so ensure you start working early so you can review all your options and make decisions you feel are in your best interests.

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