If you are involved in a heroin-related crime, the charges you will face will largely depend upon whether you are charged with possession of heroin or intent to sell. Knowing the difference between these two charges can potentially mean the difference between years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. In addition to turning to Simon Law Group for hiring a criminal lawyer in the Somerville area, we also seek to provide education on various legal topics. Here is what you need to know about the differences between heroin possession and intent to sell.
As a general rule, possession charges are usually associated with a small amount of heroin. If you are being charged with possession of heroin, it is likely that the officer who arrested you found only a small amount of the drug on your person. It is sometimes referred to as a "personal use" amount because it is considered a reasonable amount for one person to consume.
In New Jersey, you will usually be charged with possession of heroin if you are found to be carrying less than five ounces at the time of arrest; the exact amount you have will determine the degree of your charges. It is important to note, however, that you may be charged with intent to distribute depending on other factors determined at the time of arrest. Charges of possession of heroin are less severe than intent to sell and can include up to $100,000 in fines and jail time.
Intent to distribute charges are much more serious than possession, and depend upon a number of factors. Intent charges are exactly what they sound like. They can be assumed when you were arrested that the heroin in your possession was intended to be sold. If you are found to be carrying a large amount of heroin (over five ounces) you will likely be automatically charged with intent to distribute. You can also have a charge of possession upgraded to intent if you are found to be carrying a large number of plastic baggies (for sale purposes), a large amount of cash, or a scale. Charges of intent to distribute heroin can carry fines of up to $500,000 in fines and imprisonment without parole.
If you are interested in learning more about these charges or wish to hire a second-degree criminal lawyer in NJ, you can contact our legal team at Simon Law Group today to learn more.