What You Need To Know If You Face Controlled Substances Charges

What is a controlled substance under Florida law? Florida's Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act defines controlled substances under Fla. Stat. Section 893.03. The possession of a controlled substance is punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the type and amount of the substance involved.

A conviction for possession of any controlled substance, however, can be enough to irreparably harm your future. An arrest or conviction could prevent you from getting a job or finding decent housing. At O'Brien Hatfield, PA, in Tampa, Florida, our attorneys can defend you no matter what type of drug charge you are facing.

If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance and need the assistance of a Tampa criminal defense lawyer, please contact our law firm today.

We have achieved successful outcomes for defendants in controlled substances cases, including a client facing the charges of possession of a controlled substance (LSD), possession of a controlled substance (MDMA), possession of cannabis (more than 20 grams), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Faced with the possibility of 15 years in prison, we obtained an outcome with no jail or prison time.

The Types Of Controlled Substances Under Florida Law

The substances are classified into five schedules:

  • Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use. These generally result in the most serious criminal penalties. This includes drugs such as heroin and marijuana.
  • Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse, but generally have some form of accepted medical use in treatment. These result in serious criminal penalties. This can include prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III substances generally have some potential for abuse, but lower than Schedule I or II substances. The substances in this schedule have accepted medical use in treatment. These typically result in less serious penalties than in Schedule I or II.
  • Schedule IV substances have a lower potential for abuse than substances in Schedule III and have accepted medical use in treatment. These typically result in less serious criminal penalties than Schedule III.
  • Schedule V substances have a low potential for abuse and have accepted medical use in treatment. These typically result in the least serious criminal penalties.

An individual who has been charged with possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana or certain substances in Schedule I can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

All other simple drug possession felonies are felonies of the third degree, and are punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a fine.

If you are worried about the penalties for drug possession or have questions, please contact us at our office in Tampa today by sending us an email or calling 813-228-6989 to schedule a free consultation.