Drugs and the Sunshine State
Different states define controlled dangerous substances (CDS) differently and penalties for their possession, distribution and manufacture vary as well. In Florida, not only well-known drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, etc., are illegal, but possessing compounds to manufacture them are also against the law.
Florida separates CDS into five “schedules,” according to their potential for abuse. Schedule I has the highest chance of abuse and no accepted medical use while Schedule V has the lowest abuse potential and they have medicinal value.
Committing a drug crime in Jacksonville, FL can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony, it depends on the type and amount of the drug involved. There is no differentiation between actual or constructive possession.
Felony charges f possession of CDS in Florida are divided into three degrees; you may be charged with either a first or third-degree felony. Felony possession of the first degree requires over 10 grams of a Schedule I CDS and is punishable by incarceration of up to 30 years, a $10,000 fine, or possibly both. Felony possession of the third degree is punishable by up to 5 years’ incarceration, a $5,000 fine, or possibly both.
A misdemeanor possession charge in the first degree carries a punishment of up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 fine, or both.
One of the most serious of drug crimes is drug trafficking and carries the harshest penalties. Law enforcement in Florida is encouraged to peruse this crime strongly. Sometimes political and legislative careers are based on detainment and conviction of drug traffickers. The state has mandatory minimums starting with a 3-year prison sentence for 25 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana, 28 to 200 grams of cocaine or 4 to 14 grams of heroin. Convictions for these charges include fines of $25,000, $25,000 and $50,000, respectively.
The best thing you can do if facing a drug charge is to contact a drug crimes attorney immediately.
Finnell, McGuinness, Nezami & Andux PA serves clients in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Ponte Vedra, Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, Nassau County, Flagler County and the entire Northeast Florida area.