Heroin is one of the most strictly controlled drugs in the country. Possession of even a small quantity of this drug can lead to severe consequences. A conviction for manufacturing or distributing diamorphine can bring years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
What Is Heroin?
The drug itself is derived from morphine, which is a substance found in the resin of the opium poppy. The active ingredient, diacetylmorphine, is a powerful painkiller and has been used for hundreds of years in medicine. Also known as diamorphine, this drug is still used to treat severe pain.
When used illegally, it is called smack, horse, H or brown. A popular and strong variant that is often produced in Mexico is known as black tar. Opium has a high potential for addiction and addicts are prone to death or illness due to overdose. These problems have led to tough penalties for possession of this drug.
Texas Smack Penalties
Possession is the most common tar offense in Houston, Texas. A person found with enough heroin for a single use can face tough penalties. Some penalties include:
- possession of less than one gram can be punished with 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- possession of one to four grams can result in two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- possession of four to 200 grams can lead to a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- possession of 200 to 400 grams can be punished with five years to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- possession of more than 400 grams can lead to a sentence of 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
Diacetylmorphine Legal Defenses
A Houston defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the court for a lighter sentence. For example, a defendant who agrees to attend drug rehab may get probation instead of jail time.