Drug crimes are considered some of the most common criminal charges in Florida. These offenses include but are not limited to the unlawful cultivation, distribution, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, and/or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic. Florida also prohibits the possession of drugs, driving under the influence of drugs, conspiring to commit drug offenses, and drug trafficking.
Penalties for a drug crime in the state vary, however; if you are faced with a serious offense you could be serving time in jail. Today, we review the different types of drug crime penalties in Florida and what to do if faced with a drug charge.
Drug Crime Penalties: What Is a Serious Offense?
The penalty you will face in Florida for a drug offense varies according to the following factors:
- The type of substance
- The quantity
- Where the crime took place
- Your intentions
Drugs are classified by schedule based on federal drug classifications. These vary from Schedule I to Schedule V and are classified accordingly:
Schedule I: Have no medical use and a high potential for addiction and/or abuse. Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, ecstasy/MDMA, peyote, and marijuana.
Schedule II: Have some recognized medical use with a slight potential of being abused. These drugs are considered to have the ability to lead to psychological or physical dependence. They include PCP, cocaine, Vicodin, Adderall, opioids, and certain types of methamphetamines.
Schedule III: Have some medical use and a moderate to very low potential for psychological or physical dependence. They include codeine, ketamine, testosterone, Tylenol, and anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV: These drugs generally have a low potential for abuse and include common prescription medications such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and low codeine cough medicine.
A Misdemeanor or Felony Offense?
Drug offenses are either considered a misdemeanor or felony offense. Misdemeanor offenses can result in a fine and up to 12 months in prison if convicted. Felony charges could result in large fines and a lengthy prison sentence – depending on the severity of the offense.
While many states have legalized marijuana, it is still illegal in Florida for recreational purposes. However, medical marijuana has been approved. The penalties for the possession of marijuana depends on the quantity of the drug.
Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor with a maximum of 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony. Possession of up to 25 pounds of marijuana results in a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. If you are found in possession of more than 25 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, this could result in up to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Possession of marijuana plants is also considered a felony. Possession of less than 25 plans could put you in prison for 5 years with a $5,000 fine to pay. Possession of 25 to less than 300 plants is punishable for up to 15 years in prison with a $10,000 fine.
If an individual is found in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or park, he/she may face additional penalties, including 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.