Rhode Island Heroin Laws

Heroin is considered one of the most powerful and addictive illicit drugs available, and is illegal in all states and under federal law. Heroin, a potent narcotic derived from the poppy, is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal and most state laws, which means it also carries the stiffest penalties for offenders under state drug laws. Most states impose harsh prison sentences for even simple possession of small amounts of the drug, but a growing number of states have implemented drug courts as an alternative to prison for non-violent offenders who agree to enter drug rehabilitation.

Rhode Island Heroin Laws at a Glance

Rhode Island imposes lesser sentences for individuals who plead no contest ("nolo contendere") to minor heroin charges, complete 100 hours of community service, and participate in a drug education program. The state also has lighter sentences for convicted drug dealers who are drug dependent than for those who are not (under the rationale that the drug dependent dealer was dealing in order to support their habit instead of simply making money).

Drug courts offer non-violent drug offenders the option of entering drug rehabilitation and submitting to regular drug testing instead of serving prison time. Find out if a drug court program is available in your county.

Additional details of Rhode Island's heroin laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section to learn more.

Code Section 21-28-4.01, et seq.
Possession 3 yrs. and/or $500 to $5000; Nolo contendere plea: 100 hrs. of community service and drug education program; 1 oz.-1 kg.: 10-50 years and/or $10,000-$500,000 Over 1 kg.: 20 yrs. to life and $25,000 to $1,000,000
Sale Person not drug dependent: life and/or $10,000 to $500,000; Drug dependent: 30 yrs. and/or $3000 to $100,000; Over 1 oz.-1 kg.: minimum 10-50 yrs. and/or $10,000 to $500,000; Over 1 kg.:20 yrs.-life and/or $25,000-$1,000,000 Within 300 yds. of school: double penalties; Sale to minor or 3 yrs. junior: minimum 15 yrs. and up to $500,000
Trafficking -
Drug Court Available? Yes (see Rhode Island Superior Court: Adult Drug Court)

Note: State laws may change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation or other means, including decisions from higher courts. You may want to contact a Rhode Island drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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