Drugs are a hot topic of national debate due to the legalization of marijuana and the opioid overdose epidemic. Regardless of where you fall on the issues, one thing is certain: police and prosecutors are cracking down on drug use. Therefore, if your involved in the drug game or if you use drugs, it’s good to know the penalties you could face for a convicted Florida drug crime.
Florida Drug Penalties- Schedules
There are numerous varieties of drugs, and each one interacts with the body in a slightly different way; similarly, the law sees each drug individually, and goes through the painstaking process of determining what drug is worth what crime.
For example, it’s no surprise that harder drug possession charges involving substances like cocaine and meth receive worse penalties than drug possession charges involving “lighter” drugs.
While this variation may not come as a surprise, you may be shocked to learn that Florida law places all drugs into one of five categories called schedules. The lower the classification (e.g., schedule I), the higher the potential sentence. However, classification isn’t the only thing that can affect your charge.
Drug Quantity & Marijuana
In addition to the severity of the drug, the quantity of the drug in someone’s possession will drastically impact their case. Let’s look at marijuana charges to understand how the quantity impacts charges.
If Florida police charge someone with up to 20 grams of marijuana, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
However, Florida police charge someone with more than 20 grams of marijuana, it’s a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
These charges only apply to marijuana, and other drug possession convictions can have worse penalties (some leading to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in jail)! However, other drug crimes generally have harsher penalties.
Florida Drug Penalties- Drug Trafficking
Charges and convictions for drug trafficking are different from charges and convictions for drug possession. While possession charges are typically for personal use amounts of drugs, trafficking charges have minimum weight limits to be considered as such.
Minimum weight limits for drug trafficking charges include:
- 25 pounds of cannabis;
- 28 grams of cocaine;
- 14 grams of hydrocodone;
- 1 gram of LSD.
While drug trafficking charges typically result in worse penalties than possession charges, trafficking charges and possession charges are similar in that the classification of the drug will drastically impact the potential penalties. In fact, depending on the drug in question, drug trafficking sentences range from a minimum of 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Your Defense Makes a Differences
Regardless of the drug penalties you face, Hager & Schwartz can help you fight for your rights. The attorney you choose will have a direct impact on the outcome of your case, which means you want experienced criminal defense representation with decades of trial experience.If you or a loved one are charged with Florida drug penalties, Hager & Schwartz is here to help! Call (386) 693-1637 now for a free consultation concerning your case!