Florida Statutes Section 893.13 prohibits citizens from illegally manufacturing, selling, possessing, or trafficking drugs and controlled substances. The laws are extremely stringent, and any violations carry severe penalties and punishments. Conspiring to commit drug offenses, possessing drugs, driving while under the influence of drugs, and delivering drugs are serious offenses. Penalties are typically awarded depending on the quantity of drugs, type or Schedule of the drugs being handled, and history of similar crimes.

Rely on Experienced Attorneys to Navigate the Complexities of Drug Laws

Florida law is intolerant of any kind of drug-related crime, and the charges can be misdemeanors or felonies with harsh punishments. You could be awarded fines and prison terms of 5 years and more. If you’ve been accused of such crimes, you’ll need competent legal representation to uphold your rights in court. Your attorneys can challenge the legality of the procedures followed by law officers when arresting you. They’ll also investigate if the police had valid grounds for stopping and searching your vehicle or entering your premises. 

How Drug Schedules are Classified

Drugs and controlled substances are classified into “schedules.” Each category relates to different levels of medical usefulness, safety, potential for misuse, and addictiveness. The Controlled Substance Act explains the schedules and the penalties that apply to their illegal use.

Schedule V

Although Schedule V drugs are available over the counter, they contain small amounts of narcotics. They have a low potential for dependence and misuse and are typically used to treat common colds, coughs, aches and pains, and diarrhea. Such medicines are sold under names like Lyrica, Robitussin, and Parepectolin.

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs are typically prescribed by doctors to treat conditions like sleep disorders, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Users of these medicines can develop dependence, which is why people may try prescription fraud to acquire them illegally. Some common brand names include Ambien, Ativan, Xanax, Soma, Valium.

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs and substances have a low to moderate risk of developing dependence, physical or psychological. They are mildly addictive and can be misused. Typical examples include testosterone, Vicodin, Tylenol, ketamine, and anabolic steroids. 

Schedule II

These substances, chemicals, and drugs have a high risk of developing psychological and physical dependence. Although these drugs have some medical applications, patients can only take them under strict doctor’s supervision. The general public cannot acquire them without a prescription. Some examples include opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone, PCP, cocaine, and certain amphetamines. 

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs have no medical applications and are entirely banned in Florida. Some states have legalized marijuana, but it is illegal in Florida. Additional banned drugs include LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. Drugs in this schedule are deemed highly addictive with a dangerous potential for psychological and physical dependence. The general public cannot obtain them with or without a prescription.

Federal and State Punishments for Drug Crimes

In most states, penalties depend on the type of drug crime and may range from a misdemeanor to first degree felony. The most serious offense is drug trafficking, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years. Your attorney can advise you further on what to expect.

Penalties of 10 Years to Life Imprisonment for Possessing Drugs 

  • Heroin – 1+ kilogram 
  • Cocaine – 5+ kilograms
  • Blend of substances containing cocaine – 280+ grams
  • Marijuana – 1,000+ kilograms
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) – 100+ grams

  • Blend of substances with a large percentage of PCP – 1+ kilogram
  • Blend of substances with a large percentage of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) – 10+ grams
  • Blend of substances with fentanyl – 400+ grams
  • Methamphetamine, including its isomers, salts, and salts of its isomers – 50+ grams

  • Blend of substances with a large percentage of methamphetamine, its isomers, salts, or salts of its isomers 500+ grams

Penalties of 5 Years to 40 Years Imprisonment

  • Heroin – 100+ grams
  • Cocaine – 500+ grams
  • Blend of substances with cocaine – 28+ grams
  • Marijuana – 100+ kilograms
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) – 10+ grams
  • Methamphetamine – 5+ grams
  • Blend of substances with PCP – 100+ grams
  • LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide – 1+ gram
  • Blend of substances with fentanyl – 40+ grams

Contact the Attorneys at Smith & Eulo in Lakeland

Working with the competent attorneys at Smith & Eulo will give you the best chance of getting the charges mitigated. With over 20 years of experience defending drug charges, they are familiar with how prosecutors work. Your lawyers will devise hard-hitting strategies with keen insights into the judicial system to fight your case in court.