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Florida Drug Charges and Penalties

Florida law enforcement takes an aggressive stance on the possession and distribution of drugs. Prosecutors often seek to impose maximum fines and/or jail time.

Five Drug Schedules

Florida classifies illegal drugs or controlled dangerous substances (CDS) into 5 different schedules based on their medical value and/or likelihood of abuse.

The CDS schedule types are as follows:

  1. Schedule I: Drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (like heroin or LSD).
  2. Schedule II: Drugs that have a high potential for abuse and some accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Such abuse would cause severe psychic and physical dependence (like cocaine, opium, and morphine).
  3. Schedule III: Drugs that have potential for abuse to a lesser extent than those previously mentioned. These also have an accepted medical use and may lead to low or moderate physical dependence and a high psychological dependence (like anabolic steroids).
  4. Schedule IV: Drugs that have a lower potential for abuse than those previously mentioned. These drugs also have an accepted medical use and their abuse may lead to limited psychological and physical dependence (like Diazepam).
  5. Schedule V: Drugs that have the lowest potential for abuse compared to those previously mentioned. These drugs also have an accepted medical use and limited risk of physical and psychological dependence (like medicines that contain very small amounts of narcotic drugs).

Penalties for Possession of Illegal Drugs

The severity of drug possession-related penalties depends entirely on the amount of drugs found in a person’s possession.

List of drug charges & penalties:

  • More than 10 grams of any Schedule I drug is a 1st degree felony
    • Penalty: up to 30 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • More than 10 grams of any other CDS is a 3rd degree felony
    • Penalty: up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
  • Up to 20 grams of marijuana is considered a 1st degree misdemeanor.
    • Penalty: up to 1 year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • More than 20 grams is a 3rd degree felony
    • Penalty: up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

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 for trafficking charges are as follows:

  • Marijuana: 25 pounds or 300 plants;
  • Cocaine: 28 grams;
  • Hydrocodone: 14 grams;
  • LSD (acid): 1 gram;
  • MDMA (ecstasy): 10 grams; and
  • Oxycodone: 7 grams.

Depending on the drug in question, sentences range from a minimum of 3 years in prison and/ or a fine of $50,000 to life in prison without parole. Even if you aren’t selling the drugs, possession of a CDS that is more than the statutory limit could lead to drug trafficking charges.

Contact the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher

Florida drug laws are complicated and the consequences of a possession or trafficking conviction can be severe. If you’ve been charged with a drug-related crime or you think you may be under investigation, get in contact with our firm today.

Call us at (352) 503-4111 or contact us online for a case evaluation.

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