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Federal and state heroin crimes in Texas

The United States comeback of the illegal drug heroin, derived from the seeds of the poppy plant, is widely reported in the media. In Texas, news stories cite smuggling of the drug from Mexico and by returning service members from Afghanistan.

Heroin facts

Some disturbing facts about heroin in the U.S. and Texas:

  • A recent trend is for people who abuse certain prescription pain medications to move to heroin, which has similar physical effects, when they can no longer afford the legal drug they have been abusing; heroin is also reportedly easier to get than prescription drugs.
  • On an average day, about 99 U.S. adolescents try heroin for the first time, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.
  • In 2011, more than 4 million Americans age 12 or older had tried the drug, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse, known as NIDA.
  • Heroin use is increasing among younger Texans in their teens and 20s; availability in the state is becoming easier and the price is dropping; inhalation is an increasingly popular way to take heroin in Texas; and "cheese heroin" that mixes black tar heroin with over-the-counter pain medication is a continuing problem in the Dallas area, according to The Addiction Research Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • The U.S. Sentencing Commission cites the federal Western District of Texas as having had the fourth highest number of heroin trafficking offenders in fiscal year 2012 out of all the federal court districts.

Why heroin is dangerous

State and federal law enforcement and health officials are particularly concerned about heroin, as it is an extremely dangerous drug, causing highly addictive brain changes "characterized by uncontrollable drug-seeking no matter the consequences," according to NIDA. A heroin overdose may suppress the body's ability to breath, causing death. Unfortunately, withdrawal from the drug causes severe physical side effects like pain, insomnia, vomiting, cold flashes and more.

Heroin crimes

State and federal law both have many heroin crimes on the books with serious criminal penalties like years of incarceration and potentially millions of dollars in fines. Penalties may increase for repeat offenders, heroin crimes that resulted in death, involved children or were committed while possessing firearms. Offenses include trafficking, manufacture, import or export, possession with intent to distribute or deliver, distribution, conspiracy to distribute and more.

Federal, state and local authorities often work together to uncover and investigate heroin crimes.

Skilled legal representation essential for heroin charges

If you are a Texan who suspects that you are being investigated by state or federal authorities for crime involving heroin, if you are facing a grand jury or have already been charged with a heroin crime, seek immediate legal advice and representation in order to preserve your legal rights and build a vigorous defense. A Texas criminal defense lawyer with both federal and state experience will know the breadth of potential charges and penalties.

Your attorney will launch a thorough investigation into the matter and begin to construct your criminal defense. Legal counsel can negotiate with authorities on your behalf and defend you with vigor, attempting to have charges dismissed or penalties minimized.