Montana Heroin Laws

Federal and all state laws prohibit the sale and possession of heroin and other opium derivatives. Heroin is an illegal and considered a highly addictive controlled substance. Some authorities suggest that the U.S. is going through a "heroin epidemic." It can be smoked, snorted or injected. When a person uses heroin, the euphoric effects can be immediate.

Montana Heroin Laws

In Montana, as in most other states, possession and/or the sale and trafficking of heroin brings stiff penalties.

It is illegal to possess any amount of heroin in Montana. As the amount increases, so does the severity of the crime, and the possible sentence. Possession of any controlled substance with a total weight of less than 15 grams is a Class 4 felony with a penalty of 1-years in the Department of Corrections and a possible fine of up to $25,000.

Drug Courts

Begun with the help of federal funds, Montana’s drug courts seek to address the issues caused by addiction that lead offenders to commit crimes. Montana has adult, family, and juvenile drug courts in multiple Judicial Districts.

Other Penalties

There are a variety of other penalties that come along with a conviction of a heroin-related crime. Convictions may lead to loss of federal funding - including school loans. There are severe penalty enhancements if a firearm was present at the scene, you were in a protected zone (like a school zone), a child was present, selling to a minor, and selling in a correctional facility.

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations. However, a vehicle may not be seized if it was used or intended for use for transporting 60 grams of marijuana or less. Within 45 days of seizure of the property, the seizing agency must file a forfeiture proceeding. The court will then issue a summons and notice to all those with interest in the property. Those with an interest must file an answer within 20 days after the service of the summons, or the property is forfeited to the state.

Charges and penalties under Montana's heroin laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 45-9-101, et seq.; 50-32-101, et seq.
Possession Up to 5 yrs. and/or $50,000; Criminal possession with intent to sell: up to 20 yrs. and/or $50,000.
Sale 2 yrs. to life and/or $50,000 (4 yrs. if sale to minor); Subsequent offense: 10 yrs. to life and/or $50,000 (20 yrs. if sale to minor); Third offense: not less than 20 yrs. and/or $50,000 (40 yrs. if sale to minor); Offense of criminal sale of dangerous drugs on or near school property: 3 yrs. to life and/or $50,000
Trafficking Criminal production/manufacture: 5 yrs. to life and/or $50,000; 2nd offense: 20 yrs. to life and/or $50,000; 3rd offense: 40 yrs. to life and/or $50,000.

Note: Heroin charges are very serious, and with them come very stiff penalties. If you find yourself arrested for, or accused of, a heroin crime, the advice and counsel of a Montana state drug crime attorney can be essential. Additionally, there are a wide variety of factors involved in these cases, including the practices of your jurisdiction. An attorney can be beneficial in explaining the true nature of the existing law in the state of Montana.

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