Florida Drug Charges And Penalties
The following information pertains to penalties for state drug charges in Florida. Generally, cases will become federal matters when the amount of the drug involved is substantial, if the crime crosses state lines, or if the crime involved violence or a deadly weapon. Federal drug charges and penalties can often be much harsher than those at the state level.
Drug Crime Penalties In Florida
Drug possession: Drug possession includes any illegal substance under a certain weight that is found on your person, in a vehicle or in a homestead.
- Marijuana: Possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but does have a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
- Cocaine: Possessing up to 28 grams of cocaine does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but does have a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
- Ecstasy: Possessing up to 10 grams of Ecstasy does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but does have a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
- Methamphetamine: Possession of meth is considered a third-degree felony. There is no mandatory minimum sentencing requirement, but the maximum penalty is up to five years in state prison.
Drug selling or trafficking: A drug possession charge will turn into a drug trafficking charge when an individual possess an illegal narcotic greater than a specified weight. This varies for each type of drug.
- Marijuana: Possessing 25 pounds or more of marijuana is a first-degree felony, and the minimum penalty is three years’ incarceration and $25,000 fine.
- Cocaine: Possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine is also a first-degree felony, and the minimum penalty is three years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
- Ecstasy: Possessing 10 grams or more of Ecstasy is a first-degree felony, and the minimum penalty is three years’ incarceration and a fine of $50,000.
- Methamphetamine: Possessing 14 grams of more of Meth is considered a first-degree felony, and the minimum sentencing is three years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Drug manufacturing: An individual who is engaged in any activity that is part of the process of making illegal narcotics can be charged with drug manufacturing. This includes possessing plants or raw materials found in the finished narcotic. These charges are pursued very aggressively by the prosecutors in Florida. While penalties may vary greatly, the typical minimum sentencing requirement for a drug manufacturing conviction is three years in prison and a significant fine.
The Factors That Influence Drug Crime Penalties
The above are only general guidelines for charges and corresponding penalties. There are seemingly an infinite number of variables that can dictate further charges, penalties and mandatory sentencing requirements. These factors can include the nature of the offense, the amount of drugs involved, your previous criminal history, and if the crime was committed in a restricted area such as a school zone, day care facility or assisted living home.
Due to all of these complexities, it is imperative to work with an experienced attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of drug laws and penalties. At Mark J. O’Brien, criminal defense is all that we do. Our lawyers have helped a significant number of past clients successfully resolve their misdemeanor and felony drug charges at both the state and federal level.
Tampa Drug Attorneys
Our results show why so many others have trusted us with their criminal matters. For a free consultation, call our firm at 813-440-2347 or 888-496-5916, or contact us online. Our attorneys are ready to help.