Drugs. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription pills are generally what comes to mind when Tampa residents think of substances involved in these kinds of crimes. Those are the usual suspects involved in newsworthy cases or when a friend of friend gets arrested for a drug related offense. If charged, our lawyers know what allegations lead to what penalties and how to reduce the damage a controlled substance arrest can cause. How does Florida classify illegal drugs and what are the crimes involved?
Drug crimes in Florida involve controlled substances defined in Florida Statute 893.02 as being any listed substance in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute 893.03. Schedules are ranking divisions dealing with the legitimate usefulness of the substance and its potential for abuse. Schedule I includes those that have a very high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical use. Heroin, mescaline, peyote, and methaqualone are all classified as schedule I. Generally crimes involving schedule I substances are felt to be more serious unofficially than those drugs in lesser schedules.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are Schedule V drugs. Schedule V includes those substances that have a very low risk of abuse and have a currently accepted medical use in the United States. Generally a schedule V drug is a one that is a compound of a small amount of a controlled substance with something that is not a controlled substance. Between these ends of the spectrum lie numerous other schedules of varying significance.
Regardless of the controlled substance’s Schedule, if one illegally possesses, sells, manufactures, distributes, or traffics a controlled substance they can be charged with a narcotics related crime. The severity of the penalty involved relates to the conduct alleged. For some simple possession cases, the punishment can be a maximum of 11 months, 29 days in jail. For other more serious cases involving trafficking, the penalty could involve something so serious as a 25 year minimum mandatory prison term. The type of narcotic will affect the sentence potential as well. For example, trafficking heroin or methamphetamine can carry a harsher sentence than trafficking marijuana.
Allegations of these kinds of crimes are very serious and every effort should be made to defend an allegation. Anyone charged in this fashion is now saddled with a life changing allegation that not only involves a criminal court penalty, but can also act to suspend your driver’s license for 2 years if adjudicated guilty of the offense. Jason Mayberry can help you navigate your way through this maze of unfamiliar territory. Whether you need help with an addiction problem, or just got caught for a recreational amount of marijuana, we can position you to get the result you need.Typical Drug Related Crimes in Florida
There are numerous controlled substance crimes in Florida ranging from simple possession to trafficking mass quantities. Some common crimes are listed below.
Drug Possession - having an illegal substance on your person or within your dominion and control, typically for personal use. This can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Possession with the Intent to Sell - having an illegal substance in your possession in addition to a measuring scale and/or having the substance packaged individually for distribution. Possession with the intent to sell is a felony.
Sale of Drugs - Selling a controlled substance to another. The penalties involved depend on the substance, the amount sold, and the location of the sale.
Trafficking - Trafficking is the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or introduction into Florida of a large amount of drugs. Trafficking is a felony charge often involving minimum mandatory prison terms.Florida Controlled Substance Punishments
In certain circumstances an experienced drug lawyer can negotiate a pretrial diversion sentence for his client appropriately called “drug court.” Successful completion of this special court results in criminal charges being dropped against the defendant and in some cases eligibility for immediate expungement.
If you are not eligible for drug court diversion your case will go through the criminal system and if resolved with a plea, potential penalties could include:
- Public service hours
- Drug rehabilitation
- If adjudicated guilty, the collateral penalty of a suspended license
If you’ve been charged with a narcotics related crime in Tampa, you need an experienced attorney. The Mayberry Law Firm has handled these types of crimes ranging from Federal cocaine smuggling cases on semi submarines off the Central American coast to simple marijuana possession cases where we’ve helped our clients avoid jail and driver’s license suspensions. We’re quite familiar with both the direct and collateral consequences involved in narcotics cases and are ready to help. Call the Mayberry Law Firm at 813-444-7435 today.