Like any other US state, New Hampshire has its share of drug-related problems causing economic and social dents. In 2014, there were more than 300 reported cases of deaths due to heroin and substance abuse. This was alarming enough to cause attention from state officials about the need for tightening the state’s already harsh laws against heroin addiction.
Heroin addicts cause harm not only to themselves but also other citizens. The heroin addict might be driving cars or public utility vehicles. If undetected, he may cause severe auto accident and injury. An addict may experience withdrawal symptoms that are severe and difficult, thus he would resort to violent acts just to cope with the condition. He could cause fights at school and in the workplace. He might also attempt suicide as a last desperate act to do away with his addiction.
New Hampshire has installed severe penalties for people who are caught with heroin possession and / or use. The state considers heroin has a Schedule 1 classification. This means that the drug has no accepted medical benefit as well as a high possibility for abuse.
New Hampshire has some of the toughest drug laws in the country, with the possibility of prison for possession of any amount of heroin. Sale of more than five grams of heroin can result in a life sentence upon conviction.
A first time offender’s case of heroin possession is treated as a Class B Felony case and is fined up to $25,000 and seven years in prison. If he qualifies for a suspended sentence, he will be subject to a five-year probation. Second-time offenders are charged as Class A felony, which imposes up to 15 years in jail and fines of $50,000.
Heroin possession with the intent to sell regardless of volume of the drug is considered a felony charge. Being caught and convicted for selling drugs also causes you to undergo jail terms.
Driving under the influence of drugs also carries stiff penalties. A first offense incurs penalty fees of up to $750, suspension of driver’s license for a few months, and a 10-day jail term. Repeat offenders are slapped with higher penalties and longer jail and license suspension terms.
Like many other states, New Hampshire has instituted drug courts for drug defendants. The intent is to make arrangements to rehabilitate the drug user and not to take the case to trial. Failure to appear in court will cause arrest and a brief stay in jail.
In all cases, the court looks at factors that could affect the penalties imposed on drug users, such as the defendant’s past record, the type of drug, and how much has been consumed.
If you or your loved one had been caught for heroin abuse, do seek professional help, particularly from a criminal defense lawyer. It will not be advisable to try fighting against the charges on your own, because you will most like not win the case.
Also get professional help immediately for the drug user. Heroin addiction has severe withdrawal symptoms which necessitate expert handling.