Heroin: Legal consequences

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 4:13 pm

Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. Federal law states that any conviction for possession, use, or distribution of illicit substances can result in loss of federal benefits, confiscation of property, fines, and jail sentences.
Persons convicted on federal charges of possessing any controlled substance face penalties of up to one year in prison and a mandatory fine of no less than $1,000 up to a maximum of $100,000. Second convictions are punishable by not less than 15 days but not more than two years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500. Subsequent convictions are punishable by not less than 90 days but not more than three years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000.
If death or serious bodily injury results from the use of an illegally distributed controlled substance, the person convicted of distributing that substance faces a mandatory life sentence and fines of up to $8 million.
Persons convicted on federal charges of drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a university face penalties of prison terms and fines that are twice as high as the regular penalties for the offense, with a mandatory prison sentence of at least one year.

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