Prior to the rampant opioid epidemic in the United States, heroin possession was a charge that people did not often hear about. Nowadays, however, this criminal charge has become far more prevalent due to the increased use of opioids.
As this epidemic continues to rage across the country, the scope of the problem of heroin possession charges is correspondingly increasing. In fact, it is not uncommon to find first-time offenders with no previous criminal record coming into the criminal justice system with heroin possession charges. This can understandably be a bewildering process for those facing charges. If you find yourself in this situation, you should not despair but rather inform yourself about the risks and consequences of heroin possession charges and how you can move forward with a strong defense.
Opioid epidemic and heroin possession
The opioid epidemic in Florida has led to a significant increase in overdose deaths. Opioid-related overdose deaths rose sharply in Florida between 2015 and 2016, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse says is higher than the national average. Given the sharp increase in overdose deaths, which reveals a spike in the number of users of opioids such as heroin, it follows that heroin possession charges are also a frequent feature of news stories. Florida media is full of reports of residents whom police have arrested on drug charges such as possession. Heroin possession can also come with related drug charges such as intent to distribute or deliver.
Facing possession charges
Drug possession is a serious offense. You cannot and should not face these charges on your own. Therefore, if police charge you with possession, you need to mount a serious defense to try to mitigate the consequences and penalties of a drug crime conviction.
You should not necessarily plead guilty if prosecutors try to get you to settle. You are not in a position to know on your own the best course of action to pursue. However, if you decide not to take a plea bargain and instead face a trial on drug charges, you can be sure that in Florida, prosecutors will work as hard as they can to secure your conviction.