The state of Florida is known across the country for having some of the harshest penalties for drug offenses. Even a minor offense can result in jail or prison time, a large fine, and other punishments.

Each drug charge is unique, and the penalties depend on the specific circumstances of the case. For instance, the quantity of drugs you’re carrying, the type or Schedule level, and whether you were illegally transporting or producing the substances.

Drug offenses in Florida can be a misdemeanor or felony, and the Daytona Beach drug crimes lawyer is the best person to advise you on how to deal with either situation. You’ll need an aggressive attorney to uphold your rights in court and combat the charges. 

Drug Schedules and Classifications

The federal Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs into five main categories or “schedules.” Criteria for sorting drug types include the substance’s safety, its potential for misuse, its addictiveness, and the existence of confirmed medical uses. While possessing and selling many types of drugs carries penalties, lower Schedules such as I and II carry stiffer punishments than Schedule III or IV. 

Schedule I

Although marijuana is legal in some states, Florida is not one of them. It’s also an illegal Schedule I drug per U.S. law. Penalties for Schedule I drugs such as marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and heroin are some of the most strict here. 

Schedule II

Users of Schedule II drugs can quickly develop physical and psychological dependence on them. Some examples include PCP, prescription opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl, cocaine, some types of amphetamines.

Schedule III

These drugs have some medical uses but they are also potentially addictive and can lead to misuse. For instance, codeine, Tylenol, anabolic steroids, ketamine, Vicodin, and testosterone.

Schedule IV

Drugs like Xanax, Valium, Soma, Ativan, and Ambien are often prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. However, attempts are often made to acquire them illegally with prescription fraud.

Schedule V

This category typically includes medicines that are available over the counter. Although they have a low potential for developing dependence, they do contain a small percentage of narcotics. For example, Robitussin, Lyrica, and Parepectolin that are often used to treat diarrhea, aches and pains, and coughs.

Federal and State Drug Crime Penalties

Penalties for drug crimes typically depend on a number of factors. Judges take into account the quantity of drugs, its Schedule, factors of trafficking or possession, and whether the perpetrator has a history of similar charges. Here is an overview of the possible punishments the courts could award.

10 Years to Life Imprisonment for Possessing a Minimum Quantity of Drugs including:

  • Heroin – 1+ kg
  • Marijuana – 1,000+ kg
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) – 100+ g
  • Cocaine – 5+ kg
  • Methamphetamine, including its isomers, salts, and salts of its isomers 50+ g
  • Heroin 1+ kg
  • Combination of substances with a large percentage of PCP 1+ kg
  • Combination of substances containing cocaine 280+ g
  • Combination of substances with N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylmethyl)-4-piperidinyl] propenamide 400+ g
  • Combination of substances with a large percentage of LSD 10+ g
  • Combination of substances containing a large percentage of methamphetamine, its isomers, salts, or salts of its isomers 500+ g

Sentence of 5 Years to 40 Years’ Imprisonment for Possessing a Minimum Quantity of Drugs including:

  • Heroin 100+ g
  • Marijuana 100+ kg
  • Methamphetamine 5+ g
  • LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide 1+ g
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) 10+ g
  • Cocaine 500+ g
  • Combination of substances with cocaine 28+ g
  • Combination of substances with PCP 100+ g

Contact the Attorneys at Smith & Eulo for an Aggressive Defense

With the help of the experienced attorneys at Smith & Eulo, you have a better chance of getting the charges mitigated or dismissed. Prosecutors must prove each facet of the case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction. 

Furthermore, law enforcement officials must have a valid warrant issued by a judge to search your home or car. Without proper authorization, the evidence is not admissible in a court of law. When searching a car or premises, police officers would need objective proof to support their suspicion that a crime is being committed. 

All of these arguments can help get a lower penalty or dismissal. Rely on the expertise of attorneys who have handled such cases for the last 20 years. Exercise your right to make that phone call and call Smith & Eulo.