Until recently, very few people had ever heard of someone taking fentanyl for recreational purposes. Fentanyl is one of the strongest pain medications known to man. It is typically reserved for people on hospice or suffering from a terminal illness such as cancer. It is anywhere from 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
When most people think of the opioid epidemic, they tend to think of drugs like heroin. And, while many of the overdoses in Boise are the result of heroin, more and more people are dying from fentanyl overdoses every day. People have no idea how strong this drug is. First responders have to wear gloves when dealing with drug overdoses because a dose smaller than a grain of sand can be lethal.
Knowing how strong it is, most people are surprised that anyone would willingly take this drug. However, for a lot of people, heroin and fentanyl are a lot cheaper than prescription painkillers. And a lot of drug dealers are starting to cut heroin with fentanyl. It allows them to manufacture a drug that is strong enough to meet their customers’ demands. What this means is that the Idaho Legislature had to write specific laws to deal with the possession of and trafficking of this lethal narcotic.
What is Fentanyl and How Does it Compare to Heroin?
Fentanyl is a very potent pain medication. It is typically administered to patients in the patch form. The patient wears the patch for anywhere from one to three days. It delivers the medication in a time-release fashion. But the drug is also available in other forms.
When heroin started to become popular again about a decade ago, it swept the nation. It is a relatively cheap drug. But as people started to demand more powerful street drugs, many dealers and manufacturers started to mix fentanyl into their product. Other addicts would cut up and chew fentanyl patches, having no idea what they were putting into their bodies.
Idaho started to see hundreds of fentanyl overdoses in their state. The same problem started to hit most parts of the country. In order to combat this deadly drug, the Idaho legislature amended its drug trafficking laws to include specific penalties for people who are caught selling and manufacturing fentanyl and heroin.
What is the Law in Idaho Regarding Heroin and Fentanyl?
One thing your Boise criminal defense lawyer can tell you is that Idaho bases its drug laws on weight. This means that it doesn’t matter why you are carrying the drug. If you are caught with a certain amount of the drug in your possession, you will be charged with drug trafficking.
The laws in Idaho are very strict when it comes to illegal drug trafficking. They all carry what are called mandatory minimum sentences. This means that, no matter what the circumstances, you won’t be eligible for parole if you’re convicted of drug trafficking in Idaho.
The laws in Idaho are as follows for possession and trafficking of heroin:
- 5-10 grams results in three (3) years in prison and fines of $10,000
- 10-28 grams will result in a prison sentence of five (5) years and a fine of $15,000
- For anyone with more than 28 grams in their possession, the sentence will be 10 years and there will be fines of $25,000
The laws for fentanyl trafficking or possession in Idaho exactly the same as they are for heroin. However, if someone is convicted of a second offense of fentanyl trafficking in Boise, their sentence will be doubled.
How Can a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
Anyone charged with trafficking of either heroin or fentanyl needs a good criminal lawyer in Boise. The mandatory minimum sentences are so high, you don’t want to handle something like this on your own. And, if it’s your second offense, the penalties may be doubled. Having an experienced Boise criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between spending more than a decade in jail or having your charges reduced or dismissed.
The first thing your Boise criminal attorney will do is look to see if your arrest was lawful. If the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop you, then all of the evidence they collected may be thrown out. They will also look to see how strong the state’s evidence is. If there is no actual proof that the drugs were yours, you may have a possible defense.
The important thing to do is to call and talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Hooper Law Offices as soon as possible after your arrest.