Heroin laws are generally some of the toughest on the books. However, there is still a great deal of variety in how different types of drugs are punished, and also in how states and the federal government address them.
Heroin is one of the drugs with the most devastating consequences for users from both a health and legal standpoint. As with most drugs, however, a heroin offense can vary depending on whether it involves simple possession or distribution. Similarly, the amount of drugs involved plays a key role.
Heroin Laws in South Dakota
Heroin and other narcotics remain illegal under both federal and state law. South Dakota heroin laws are not lenient with possession of heroin being charged as a felony , and charges for dealers and traffickers are even more serious.
It is illegal to possess any amount of heroin in South Dakota. As the amount increases, so does the severity of the crime, and the possible sentence. Heroin possession is a Class 4 felony with a penalty that may include a fine of up to $20,000, up to 10 years in prison , or both. Still, the Mount Rushmore State does offer options for first-time offenders in need of treatment.
While conviction on drug charges can often carry stiff sentences, including prison time, some prosecutors will offer plea bargains to lower-level offenders in exchange for help with a larger case. Additionally, some jurisdictions have specialized “drug courts,” which can help drug crime defendants avoid jail in lieu of treatment and other options.
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.
Charges and penalties under South Dakota's heroin laws are listed in the following column. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and resources.
|Code Section||22-42-1, et seq.; 34-20B-1, et seq.|
|Possession||Class 4 felony|
|Sale||Class 4 felony, mandatory one (1) yr. without suspension, fine up to $10,000 for any conviction: Sale to minor: Class 2 felony, mandatory five (5) yrs.; Subsequent offense: mandatory 10 yrs. without suspension; Sale to minor: mandatory 15 yrs. without suspension; Sale within drug-free zone: class 4 felony, minimum five (five) yrs.|
Note: Heroin charges are very serious, and with them come very stiff penalties. If you find yourself arrested or accused of a heroin crime, the advice and counsel of a South Dakota 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 South Dakota.
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