William Marcus Wilkerson
Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson

don't give up your rights without a fight.
choose marcus wilkerson

Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson
Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson

Heroin demand rises alongside prescription opioid restrictions

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Society has recognized that easy access to prescriptions for opioid pain medications resulted in opioid use disorder for millions of people. Governments reacted by imposing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) to halt people from getting endless prescription refills. University researchers in Texas concluded that this action reduced opioid prescriptions but ended up sending opioid users to the streets in search of heroin to replace the lost pills.

Opioid prescription monitoring in Texas

In 2020, the stated launched its PDMP. The rules instruct medical providers who prescribe medicine to check a person’s prescription history before filling or refilling an order for narcotic medications. Too many prescriptions on a person’s record will prevent access to the medication.

Heroin possession

When people accustomed to taking opioids cannot get prescription pills, they seek opioids like heroin. This activity places people at risk of criminal prosecution. After an arrest, individuals in this situation will need to respond to their felony or misdemeanor drug charges in court.

The state’s heroin laws classify offenses according to the amount of drug allegedly in your possession as follows:

  • Under 1 gram is a state jail felony
  • 1 to 4 grams is a 3rd degree felony
  • From 4 to 200 grams is a 2nd degree felony
  • From 200 to 400 grams is a 1st degree felony
  • Over 400 grams is a felony with a possible life sentence

Sale of heroin

Selling heroin intensifies prosecution. The state treats dealing even a small amount of 1 to 4 grams of heroin as a 2nd degree felony. From 4 to 200 grams, you can expect to be charged with a 1st degree felony. For amounts above 200 grams, penalties start with 10-year prison terms and six-figure fines.