Florida Drug Crimes

Considering that Florida is one of the major ports of entry into the United States, and has the third largest population in the country, it should come as no surprise that it is a major point of entry for drug crimes –including drug trafficking, drug addiction, and drug possession.

During the height of drug crimes in the 1980s, Florida Legislators began to crack down on drugs in the State. Florida's tough stance on drugs has since made being charged with any drug crime in Florida very stressful and very difficult to overcome.

Attorney for Drug Crimes in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Considering the harsh penalties for drug crimes promulgated by Florida law, it is imperative that anyone who has been arrested for any drug crime, or is even under investigation for a drug crime, speak with an attorney immediately.

At Bacchus & Navarro Law Group, we pride ourselves on standing up for the rights of criminal defendants. The law tells us that an individual is innocent until proven guilty; therefore being labeled, a "defendant" should not count against an individual's right to representation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime in Florida, and you need help, contact our office.

The attorneys at Bacchus & Navarro Law Group have extensive experience defending drug crimes throughout South Florida, and at the Federal level in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Our attorneys take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in cities like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, LaBelle, Miami, and East Naples, Florida.

Our office is centrally located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. Individuals with potential drug charges in Broward County, Hendry County, Palm Beach County, or Miami-Dade County should contact our office immediately before speaking with law enforcement.

Call (954) 500-5555 for more information about how our office can help.


Overview of Drug Crimes in Broward County


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Drug Schedules in Florida

In Florida, the severity of drug charge is based on a number of factors, namely, the schedule of the drug, the amount possessed, and the circumstances surrounding the possession such as evidence of an intent to distribute.

Florida differentiates the dangerousness of the drug based on schedules. Florida Statute § 893.03 describes the types of drugs are classified under each schedule.

  • Schedule I – controlled substances have a high potential for abuse, and there is no accepted medical use treatment in the United States. Schedule I drugs are not accepted under medical safety standards, even with medical supervision.
    • Heroin
    • Cannabis
    • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and
    • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Schedule II – controlled substances have a high potential for abuse, and while currently accepted for medical use, they are severely restricted. Abusing Schedule II substances can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples include:
    • Cocaine
    • Morphine
    • Codeine
    • Opium
    • Hydrocodone
  • Schedule III – controlled substances are less likely to be abused than the drugs in the previous schedules and are currently accepted for medical use in the United States. However, abuse of Schedule III controlled substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence, and high psychological dependence, or physical damage. Some examples include:
    • Anabolic steroids
    • Barbituric acid (and its derivatives)
  • Schedule IV – controlled substances have a low potential for abuse relative to the substances outlined in the previous schedules and are currently accepted for medical treatment. Abuse of Schedule IV drugs can lead to limited psychological or physical dependence. Some examples include:
    • Alprazolam (Xanax)
    • Carisoprodol (Soma)
    • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Schedule V – controlled substances have a low potential for abuse relative to the previous schedules and are accepted for medical use. Abuse of Schedule V substances may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence. Some examples include:
    • Buprenorphine;
    • Pyrovalerone

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Drug Charges in Florida

Drug crimes constitute a myriad of offenses under Florida law, from trafficking to possession. According to Florida Statute § 893.13 drug crimes can include the following:

  • Drug possession with the intent to sell;
  • Drug trafficking;
  • Possession of a controlled substance;
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia; or
  • Meth trafficking.

While generally considered a Schedule I substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor offense in Florida.

Possession:

Drug

Amount

Charge

Marijuana

< 20 grams

1st Degree Misdemeanor

Marijuana

> 20 grams or THC Concentrate

3rd Degree Felony

Cocaine

< 28 grams

3rd Degree Felony

Heroine

< 4 grams

3rd Degree Felony

Meth

 

3rd Degree Felony


Types of Possession in Florida

To be charged with possession, the State must determine whether the alleged offender was in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance.

Actual possession means that the illegal drug was on the alleged offender's person or in his or her physical control.

Constructive possession means that the alleged offender can exercise control over the illegal substances, but he or she may not necessarily be in physical possession of them.

Drug Trafficking

While sale generally means the exchange of drugs for something of value, trafficking often refers to larger scale operations such as marijuana grow houses. Trafficking often includes manufacturing, transportation, and sale component.

Drug

Amount

Charge

Cannabis

25 or More Lbs (or 300 Plants)

First-Degree Felony

Cocaine

28 or More grams

First -Degree Felony

Heroine

Four or More grams

First-Degree Felony

Meth

14 grams or More

First-Degree Felony

 


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Potential Punishments for Drug Crimes

Considering that drug charges in Florida are based on the amount of the drug, the type of drug, and the circumstances surrounding being caught with the drug, controlled substance charged can range anywhere from a misdemeanor or felony offenses.

Moreover, those offenses can range from twelve months in jail to thirty years in Florida State Prison. If the illegal substances cross State lines, then an alleged offender could be subject to federal drug trafficking charges.

Some of the potential punishments for drug charges can include the following:

  • Second-degree misdemeanor – up to sixty (60) days in jail and a $500 fine;
  • First-degree misdemeanor – up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine;
  • Third-degree felony – up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000 fine;
  • Second-degree felony – up to fifteen (15) years in prison and a $10,000 fine;
  • First-degree felony – up to thirty (30) years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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Drug Court in Florida

Drug court programs in Florida are voluntary programs that offer substance abuse treatment as an alternative to prison for non-violent drug offenses. Treatment based drug court programs include jurisprudence principles and ten key components recognized by the Drug Courts Program. The program integrates alcohol and other drug treatment services, using a nonadversarial approach to prosecution and defense, and is designed to eliminate drug and alcohol consumption.

As of April 2017, there are 95 drug courts in operation, including 46 adult felony, seven adult misdemeanor,  22 juvenile and four DUI courts in operation under Florida law.


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Additional Resources

Florida Drug Court Program – Visit the website of the Florida Courts created to be accessible, convenient, and responsive to the needs of Florida citizens, and to be held accountable, by using public resources efficiently and in a way that the public can understand. The Florida Courts' website has information on the success statistics of Florida drug courts and the current status of the program.

Fla. Stat. § 893.13 – Visit Online Sunshine for more information on drug abuse prevention and control, including the prohibited acts listed under the Statute, the useful definitions for understanding the statute, and the penalties associated with conviction of drug crimes in Florida.


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Find an Attorney for Drug Crimes in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know is being investigated by the Federal government or the Florida law enforcement for any drug crime, then contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Speaking with the police will not be in your best interest until you have fully retained counsel and been advised whether to do so.

The attorneys at Bacchus & Navarro Law Group care about its clients and are dedicated to providing the best possible defense in drug crimes and other criminal matters.

We have years of experience defending clients against marijuana crimes, trafficking, and possession with the intent to sale to name a few throughout the Miami-metropolitan area,  and at the Federal level in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Our attorneys take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in cities like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, LaBelle, Miami, and East Naples, Florida.

With offices just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse, individuals with potential drug charges in Broward County, Miami-Dade County,  Hendry County, and Palm Beach County, Florida should contact our office immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 for more information about how our office can help.

This Article Was Last Updated on May 12, 2017. 

 


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