Heroin is considered a dangerous drug. While around 4.2 million Americans (or 1.6% of the population) have used it in some form, the high risk of overdose, HIV and other infections from needles, and other serious health side effects has led to its criminalization. Federal and state drug laws prohibit the possession, sale, distribution, and transportation of heroin.
Harsher punishments are on the books for selling and distributing heroin and when larger quantities are involved. Traffickers can face decades-long prison sentences in federal or state prison. Vermont is no different, and has enacted heroin laws imposing significant criminal punishments on offenders.
Heroin Laws in Vermont
Vermont law prohibits the possession, sale, and transportation of even small amounts of heroin. Anyone caught in possession of up to 200 milligrams faces a maximum of one-year imprisonment and a $2,000 fine. These significantly penalties increase when greater quantities of heroin are involved. Possessing more than 200 mg can earn someone up to five years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine while possessing more than two grams is punishable by up to twenty-year in prison and $1,000,000 fine. These penalties and fines can double for repeat offenders.
Harsher punishments exist for selling and distributing heroin. The ladder starts at a max three-years imprisonment and $75,000 fine for distribution and a max five-years in prison and $100,000 fine for sales. At the top of end, selling or distributing more than one gram is punishable by up to twenty years behind bars and a $1 million fine. There’s also a flat prohibition on selling heroin to minors and on school grounds. Offenders start out facing a maximum ten-years imprisonment and $250,000 fine. Repeat offenders can also see their maximum sentences double. It’s worth noting that individual sentences can vary depending on the particular case, the sentencing judge, and the quality of legal counsel.
The following chart provides a summary of Vermont heroin laws for the more visually inclined readers out there:
||Vt. Stat. tit. 18, § 4233.
|Possession of Heroin
Up to 200 mg: max 1 year imprisonment and $2,000 fine;
200 mg or more: max 5 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine;
1g or more: max 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine;
2g or more: max 20 years imprisonment and $1,000,000 fine;
Subsequent offenses: maximum penalties double for all offenses.
|Sale of Heroin
Dispensing heroin: max 3 years imprisonment and $75,000 fine;
Selling heroin: max 5 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine;
Selling or dispensing 200 mg or more: max 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine;
Selling or dispensing 1 g or more: max 20 years imprisonment and $1,000,000 fine;
Sale to minors or on school grounds: max 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine;
Subsequent offenses: maximum penalties double penalties.
|Trafficking of Heroin
3.5 g. or more with intent to sell: max 30 years imprisonment and $1,000,000 fine;
Transporting 1 g. or more into Vermont with intent to sell or dispense: max 10 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine.
Related Resources for Heroin Laws
There are considerable differences in drug laws from state to state. You can find out more information about drug possession and drug trafficking and distribution in our drug charges section. For answers to more specific questions, speaking with a Vermont criminal lawyer is recommended.