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Florida Drug Charges and Penalties

If you've been charged with a drug-related crime in central-Florida, you could be facing serious criminal penalties, including up to 30 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. As a former prosecutor, I know that Florida has some of the strictest drug laws in the nation, and that law enforcement takes an aggressive position towards drug possession and distribution charges. Prosecutors often seek to impose the maximum fines and jail time allowed under the law.

If you've been charged with a drug-related crime in central-Florida, you need an experienced, aggressive drug crimes defense attorney who knows Florida and federal drug laws, and understands how Florida courts and prosecutors handle drug charges.

Florida Classifies Drugs Into Five Schedules

Florida classifies illegal drugs into five schedules, based on their medical value and likelihood of abuse. Florida law refers to illegal drugs as controlled dangerous substances, or CDS.

  • Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.
  • Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but have some accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Their abuse has the potential for severe psychic and physical dependence. Examples include crack, cocaine, opium, and morphine.
  • Schedule III drugs have a potential for abuse that is less than Schedule I or II drugs, an accepted medical use, and their abuse may lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence. Anabolic steroids are classified as a Schedule III drug.
  • Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, an acceptable medical use, and their abuse may lead to limited psychological and physical dependence in relation to Schedule III drugs. Diazepam is a Schedule IV drug.
  • Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use, and have a limited risk of physical or psychological dependence. Schedule V drugs include medicines that contain very small amounts of specified narcotic drugs.

Penalties for Possession of Illegal drugs

The severity of the penalty for drug possession varies depending on the amount of the drug found in your possession.

  • Possession of more than 10 grams of any Schedule I drug is a Felony of the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
  • Possession of any other CDS is punishable as a Felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
  • Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and up t a $1,000 fine, or both. More than 20 grams is a Felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. .

Drug Possession Versus Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is the intentional sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, possession, or transportation of a controlled substance in excess of certain statutory limits. The weight limits vary depending on the CDS in question. Drug trafficking charges carry significant penalties that increase with the amount of the illegal drug found in your possession.

Common illegal drugs and the minimum weight limit to be considered trafficking are as follows:

  • Cannabis: 25 pounds or 300 plants
  • Cocaine: 28 grams
  • Hydrocodone: 14 grams
  • LSD (acid): 1 gram
  • MDMA (Ecstasy): 10 grams
  • Oxycodone: 7 grams

Depending on the drug in question, sentences range from a minimum of 3 years in prison and a fine of $50,000, up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Even if you are not selling drugs, possession of a CDS that is more than the statutory limit could lead to charges of drug trafficking.

The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher - Your Defense Against Central-Florida Drug Charges

Florida drug laws are complicated, and the consequences of a drug possession or drug trafficking conviction are severe. If you've been charged with a drug-related crime, or even if you think you are under investigation, don't delay. You need experienced central-Florida drug crimes attorney on your side.

Contact me at The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher today to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation. Call (352) 503-4111, or complete our online information form today.

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