Heroin Charges & Criminal Defense

If you know what Dragon, Big H, Mud, Skag and Smack are (heroin), you might also know what Pocks First is. That’s the way it’s pronounced. It’s spelled POCS 1, and it stands for Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree. Heroin is bad news – and so is POCS 1.

If you’ve been charged with POCS 1 or any charges related to heroin, you’re going to need an experienced drug attorney. Dan Carman, PLLC will be able to help you through the legal tangle and negotiate the best possible outcome for you. Call us at (859) 838-1415 as soon as you know you are facing drug charges, or use this online form.

WHAT IS HEROIN?

Heroin is synthesized from morphine. In its purest form, it is a fine, white powder. More frequently it is a rosy gray, brown or black and is mixed with toxic ingredients. It was first marketed as a non-addicting alternative to cough suppressants, but that turned out to be an error of major proportions.

Heroin can be injected, snorted or sniffed, or smoked. It is a highly addictive substance, no matter how you use it, and it enters the brain very quickly. It is estimated that one-fourth of the people who try heroin become addicted to it.

HEROIN’S GROWING POPULARITY

Heroin has replaced prescription pain pills as the drug of choice in some parts of Kentucky, both because officials have been successful in their efforts to curb prescription pill abuse and because it is cheaper than pain pills. The Department of Justice estimates that an abuser could maintain their addiction at a cost of one-third to one-half of what prescription opioids would cost.

And it isn’t hard to find. Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson says it is coming mainly from Cincinnati, Detroit, Atlanta and Mexico.

HEROIN IN THE COMMONWEALTH

Since 2012, when Kentucky lawmakers passed the state’s “pill mill” law cracking down on the unnecessary prescription of pain medication, people who once used pills have started turning to heroin.

Northern Kentucky has seen heroin use skyrocket in recent years. While Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties accounted for only 8.4 percent of Kentucky’s population in 2011, nearly 60 percent of the state’s heroin prosecutions occurred there. In 2011, there were only five heroin-related arrests in Boone County. That number jumped to 35 in 2012. The number of heroin deaths in Northern Kentucky doubled from 33 in 2011 to 66 in 2012.

In Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville’s heroin epidemic is staggering. According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, there were 32 heroin arrests in 2008 and 779 in 2012 – a whopping 2,334 percent increase. Seizures of the drug in the same time span went from 104.4 grams in 2008 to 7,087 grams in 2012 – up 6,688 percent.

THE REAL COST OF HEROIN

Even though the purchase of heroin may not cost you an exorbitant amount of money, it could exact the ultimate price – your life. Law enforcement and health officials in Kentucky have reported a spike in the number of fatal heroin overdoses in recent months. In Lexington, where more than a third of the county’s overdoses in 2012 were from heroin, a task force is addressing the problem.

And even if the drug doesn’t actually take your life, a heroin conviction can mess it up just as surely as an addiction can. Heroin is a Schedule I narcotic, pursuant to KRS 218A.050(2), which defines all Opium derivatives as such. Schedule I is the classification for the most dangerous drugs, those which are considered to have a high potential for abuse and are generally without medicinal value.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree is a class D felony, carrying a penalty of 1 to 3 years. Those facing trafficking charges are looking at 5- to 10-year sentences. Under federal law, there is a mandatory minimum 20-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of life, when an overdose death is linked to a drug dealer.

You may have taken heroin thinking it would make your problems disappear. Instead, they may have multiplied. And problems with the law don’t just disappear – you’ll need the help of an attorney experienced in drug crime defense, one who knows what questions to ask and what steps to take so you can put this behind you and get on with the rest of your life.

HELP IS AVAILABLE

A phone call to Dan Carman could be the next step you need to take. We take seriously what could be serious business for you and your family. Contact us by phone at (859) 838-1415 or through our online form here.