The use and addiction of illegal drugs can have a damaging impact on anyone’s life. Due to this, law enforcement and the legal system continue to take the possession of illegal drugs very seriously. If you are caught holding illegal drugs, it could lead to a variety of very serious consequences. For those that are in Florida, there are several forms of consequences that people should be aware of.
Drug Schedule Classification
As there are a variety of illegal drugs, which vary in potency, side effects, value, and volume, the state of Florida has broken illegal drugs down into different classification schedules.
- Schedule One drugs are considered very addictive and include heroin, LSD, and other drugs that have serious side effects.
- Schedule Two are also addictive and illegal and include cocaine and opium.
- Schedule Three drugs are considered less addictive and include illegal steroids.
- Schedule Four drugs are typically available for medicinal use and are not very addictive.
- Schedule Five drugs are also not addictive and provide little risk but do require a prescription.
In many cases, if you are caught possessing marijuana, it could be considered a simple misdemeanor. Some examples of misdemeanor drug possession in Florida can include if you are holding less than 20 grams of marijuana or you possess a reasonable level of a Schedule V drug. Visitors who intend to fly into the state with marijuana must be aware of this since ignorance is not an acceptable defense. Normally, the penalization for this is minimal, but you could be assessed a fine of $1,000 or more and up to a year of imprisonment. These severe penalties are typically reserved for repeat offenders.
Third Degree Felony
The next most significant penalty that you can receive for drug possession in Florida is a third-degree felony. If you hold a certain amount of any Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 drugs, you could be considered in violation of the law and will face third-degree felony charges. The penalization for these offenses can be far more significant and will typically include some imprisonment, particularly if you are a repeat offender. Those charged with this felony can face up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
Second Degree Felony
Another felony charge that is possible to be received is a second-degree felony. If you have a certain level of either a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug, you could be charged with a second-degree felony for simple possession of the drug. In these cases, your penalization can include up to 15 years in prison or a $10,000 fine.
First Degree Felony
The most significant drug possession charge is a first-degree felony. If you have more than 10 grams of a Schedule 1 drug, or it is believed that you intend to sell and distribute the drugs, you could be found guilty of a first-degree felony for drug possession. The penalties for this charge are severe and can include up to 30 years in prison or a $10,000 fine.
While the penalization for drug possession can include imprisonment and financial penalties, there are additional consequences that can continue to have a lasting impact on your life even after you have served your time. If you spend time in prison, you likely will also be on probation for a period of time following your release. Further, any additional offenses will typically come with even more significant penalties in the future. Additionally, having drug possession charges, particularly if it is a felony, can have a lasting impact on your life. Drug charges can make it more difficult to get certain jobs, rent an apartment, and can put strains on a variety of other parts of your life as well.
If you are caught possessing illegal drugs, the penalties can be significant. Due to this, it is very important that you have appropriate legal representation by your side. An Orlando drug possession lawyer can provide a range of services that will help you receive the best outcome possible. The team with the Panella Law Firm will offer a variety of services including initial consultation, discussions with prosecutors and other parties, and all negotiations to receive the best settlement possible. If necessary, they can also provide any legal support that you need in court to ensure you are properly represented at all times.