According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than 200,000 people addicted to heroin move through the justice system each year. Even if they kick the habit in jail or prison, they may still face employment discrimination upon release, as their arrest record will be one of the first things potential employers ask about.
In addition to the possible legal ramifications of heroin use, serious health problems can result including:
- Liver and kidney disease
- Bacterial infections
- Collapsed veins
- Organ damage (often caused by toxic additives in street heroin)
- Infection diseases such as hepatitis and HIV
Fatal overdose is of particular concern for users of street heroin because it is impossible to know the purity of the drug or whether dangerous substances have been “cut” with heroin.
In Arizona, a charge for possession of any drug, other than methamphetamine, is a Proposition 200 case, Arizona's law that mandates probation with drug treatment instead of incarceration for first and second-time, nonviolent drug offenders. Sometimes, the county attorney will permit first time offenders to complete a diversion program known as TASC, which can last from six months to one year in which the person attends classes and submits to regular drug testing. If the person continues to test clean and successfully completes the program, the charges may be dismissed.
Methamphetamine is specifically exempted from Proposition 200 and a person may be sent to jail or prison, even on a first offense.
The Law Office of Craig W. Penrod has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 25 years. Craig is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist , is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing criminal or DUI charges.