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Heroin Crimes

A powerful opioid, heroin is a street drug used recreationally to induce euphoric effects in the user. Although some of heroin’s pure hydrochloride salts exist in medical grade diamorphine, the drug is ultimately never used in medicine and is reserved solely for abuse. Unfortunately, many normal and hardworking everyday citizens fall prey to the dangers of heroin because of chronic pain or because their doctor initially prescribed them a painkiller similar to heroin. Often these victims of drug abuse possess and sell heroin to feed their addiction, but then find themselves criminally charged as a result of their chemical dependency.

The penalties for heroin possession or trafficking are incredibly serious and can lead to months or even years behind bars. Plus, if you’re convicted you will have a criminal record for the rest of your days and may have issues obtaining employment or housing in the future. If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin possession, possession with intent, delivery, or any other drug crime, then we urge you to contact an experienced drug defense attorney. 

Des Moines Attorney for Heroin Possession in IA

If you’ve been charged with a heroin or other opioid-related crime, then it’s likely you’re one of the thousands of Americans who have been a victim to the opioid epidemic. You should be rehabilitated and treated, not punished for your actions. That is why we highly suggest you secure legal representation with the skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys located at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Our seasoned Des Moines heroin defense lawyers understand what it takes to represent someone charged with a serious drug crime. They can analyze your case and construct a sturdy defense that will poke holes in the prosecution’s argument. With the drug defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., you can trust that no stone will be unturned in finding the perfect defense for your case.

Call us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free of charge. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the Des Moines, Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Perry, Minburn, De Soto, Woodward, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Bondurant, Windsor Heights, and Dallas Center. 

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Iowa Penalties for Heroin Possession

Both Iowa and the federal government classify drugs based on their different schedules. Heroin is a part of the schedule with the highest penalties and the least medical use, which is knowna as schedule I. While most states base possession cases off of the drug’s schedule, Iowa is unique as it doesn’t follow those sentencing guidelines. Instead, offenders will face the same penalties for possession no matter the drug, with the exception of cannabis. 

A first-time conviction for heroin possession is a serious misdemeanor. The penalties for a serious misdemeanor include the following:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A fine ranging between $315 and $1,875

If the offender had a previous conviction for drug possession, then they’ll face an aggravated misdemeanor instead. Aggravated misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A fine ranging between $625 and $6,250; OR
  • No fine and up to two years in prison. 

Those with two or more prior convictions will face a class D felony instead. The maximum punishment for a class D felony includes:

  • Up to five years in prison; and
  • A fine ranging between $750 and $7,500

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Penalties for Selling or Manufacturing Heroin in Iowa

Possession of heroin is a serious crime, but selling, possessing with intent to sell, delivering, or manufacturing heroin could land you behind bars for decades and force you to pay huge out-of-pocket fines. The penalties for possessing with intent to sell, delivering, selling or manufacturing heroin can be found under the Iowa Code Section 124.401, which determines sentencing based on the quantity of drugs seized.

Distributing, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to sell less than or equal to 100 g of heroin is a special class C felony. The maximum punishment a person may face for a special class C felony include: 

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine ranging between $1,000 and $50,000

If the amount was more than 100 g but less than or equal to 1kg, then the offender will face a special class B felony. The penalties for the crime upon conviction include: 

  • Up to 25 years in prison; and
  • A fine ranging between $5,000 and $100,000 

The penalties for heroin sale or manufacture are enhanced significantly if more than 1kg is found. Selling or manufacturing 1kg or more of heroin is a special class B felony that is punishable by the following: 

  • Up to 50 years in prison; and
  • A fine no greater than $1 million 

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Heroin Possession Near a School or Park in Iowa

The sentencing for heroin possession, sale, or manufacturing are incredibly serious. However, these penalties could be enhanced even further if the judge determines that the crime was committed in a drug free zone. If the court proves you were in possession of a schedule I, II or III drug in a drug free zone, then you’ll be sentenced to complete 100 hours of community service work. The charity work must be approved by a judge beforehand and must be for a public or nonprofit charitable organization.

Possessing heroin within one thousand feet of any of the following properties will result in enhanced penalties: 

  • Elementary school
  • Secondary school
  • Public park
  • Public swimming pool
  • Public recreation center
  • Marked school bus

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Additional Resources 

Statistics for the Opioid Crisis in Iowa | NIH – Visit the official website for the National Institute on Drug Abuse to read up on their statistics regarding the opioid crisis in Iowa. Access their site to learn how many deaths can be attributed to the opioid epidemic, how many opioid prescriptions are provided every year to patients, how Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome can be attributed to heroin, and other information. 

Heroin Laws in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Legislature to gain access to the current Iowa Code. Access the site to read up on the different drug schedules, crimes related to prescription drugs, the penalties for possessing or selling heroin, and other information.


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Des Moines Lawyer for Heroin Defense in Iowa

A conviction for the possession, sale, or manufacture of heroin could uproot your life and dreams. That is why it’s imperative you seek a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a heroin or any drug crime. For experienced and trusted legal representation, call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

The legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can set you up with a knowledgeable Des Moines heroin possession attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers have been battling prosecutors in the courts for years for clients accused of drug crimes. They can utilize their past experience and skills to undermine the prosecution and help you receive the best possible result for your case. 

Get in touch with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Dallas County and Polk County area.


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