Drug laws in Florida are some of the strictest in the nation. At the height of the drug wave in the 1980s, tough drug possession laws were enacted to control the flow of drugs both in and out of the state and the country. This has led to some pretty serious consequences, even for simple drug possession charges.
Florida also has a difficult history of high addition rates, major problems with oxycontin and other prescription drug abuse and distribution through pain clinics, known as “pill mills”. The state has finally had some success at closing this legal pill loopholes, which has let a lot of former pill addicts to heroin abuse.
Law enforcement has always been incredibly tough and aggressive. You don’t have to be a big time trafficker to face a life changing sentence. Having an experienced defense lawyer on your side, can help you protect your rights and freedom, and minimize the negative effects of these charges on your life.
Florida Possession of a Controlled Substance
If you are found to be in possession of cocaine, heroin, meth, or another illegal drug (excluding marijuana), you could face this felony charge. Classified as a 3rd degree felony, this charge carries a potential 5 year prison sentence and $5,000 fine.
Ref: Florida Criminal Statutes §893.13 (6)(a)
Possession of Marijuana
Florida is well behind the national trend for liberalization of marijuana laws. Florida has made no effort to decriminalize small amounts of pot, or even allow legal access to medical marijuana, as is the case in 18 other states. You can and will be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense for any marijuana possession. Please see our full page on Florida marijuana offenses for more details.
Possession of an Unlawful Chemical
This law applies to chemicals used to manufacture drugs like meth, GHB, or ecstasy (MDMA). This is a very serious second degree felony charge an carries a potential 15 year prison sentence and fines reaching $10,000.
Ref: Florida Criminal Statutes §893.149
Possession of More than 10 grams of Heroin
This is a first degree felony and also applies to other opiates listed in the statute. If you are found in possession of more than 10 grams of these opiates, including heroin, you will face a potential 30 year prison sentence and $10,000 in fines.
Ref: Florida Criminal Statutes §893.13(6)(c)
Prescription Drug Crimes
In recent years Florida has come under scrutiny for their involvement in the illegal trade of prescription drugs. This in part has led to a serious crack down on the illegal use and abuse of such drugs. If you are found in possession of prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you, you could face many of the same penalties above. In addition, if you used someone else’s name or identifying information you could be charged with fraud. The laws regarding these types of drugs are only set to get more stringent as time goes on.
If you are facing drug possession charges in Florida, contact us to speak wit a local criminal defense lawyer, in a free consultation on your case.