What is a Controlled Substance?
According to Cornell University, a controlled substance means a drug or other substance included in schedules I, II, III, IV, or V.
Schedule I controlled substances are those that have no currently accepted medical use or treatment in the United States and have a high potential for abuse. Examples may be heroin, cocaine, or LSD.
Schedule II controlled substances have a high potential for abuse but have a currently accepted medical use or treatment in the US or are used for medical purposes with extreme restrictions. Examples may include morphine or codeine.
Schedule III controlled substances have less potential for abuse than Schedule I or II, but their use may lead to moderate or low physical or psychological dependence. Examples may include steroids or other similar drugs.
Schedule IV controlled substances have a lower potential for abuse than drugs in Schedule III, have a currently accepted medical use in the US, and their abuse may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence.
Schedule V controlled substances have a lower potential for abuse than drugs in Schedule IV, have currently accepted medical use in the US, and abuse may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence relative to Schedule IV drugs or substances.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Charges in Florida?
The penalties for drug charges in Florida range from misdemeanors to felonies.
First-degree misdemeanors in Florida can lead to up to one year in jail and fines totaling up to $1,000. Examples may be a small amount of marijuana found on a person, such as under 20 grams, or the possession of drug paraphernalia.
First-degree felony charges can lead to a mandatory three to 25 years sentence and potential fines of up to $10,000. Examples of felony-related drug charges in Florida may consist of possession of more than 10 grams of a Schedule I or II drug or selling drugs close to schools or recreational areas.
A second-degree felony drug charge typically reflects possession with intent to sell. Possessing chemicals that are typically used in the making of controlled substances can also fall into this category. Felonies in this category can result in fines of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 15 years.
A third-degree felony drug charges typically consist of possession of a controlled substance in excess of a certain weight, which differs depending on which drug is found. Examples may be less than four grams of heroin or 20 grams or more of marijuana. Consequences for felonies in this category can be fines of up to $5,000 and prison time of up to five years.
What is a Drug Conspiracy Charge?
If you are facing criminal drug conspiracy charges, it means that the government believes that you have made an agreement with one or more other persons to commit drug-related crimes. Typically charges stem from the intent to distribute or sell a controlled substance. Charges can be based on transporting, selling, or delivering the drugs in question.
Charges can vary based on the consequences, resulting in misdemeanor or felony drug conspiracy charges. Typical sentences for drug conspiracy charges in Florida can range from 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500 to up to 30 years in prison and fines of $10,000 or more.
Distinct Difference in Drug Conspiracy Charges
It is important to note that charges can result simply from the agreement to conspire, and the actions don’t need to be proven for the charges to be pressed and result in penalties or fines. This means that if it is proven that you agree with others to sell, transport, or manufacture controlled substances, even if you haven’t acted on the agreement, you may still face stiff penalties.
This may mean that though you didn’t participate in any further actions but agreed to engage in aiding the transport, manufacturing, or selling of drugs with another party, and they moved forward, you may be charged due to intent and agreement rather than your specific actions.
What To Do if you Are Facing Potential Drug Charges
You may have heard this before, but exercising your right to remain silent may be your first and best defense against drug charges. Due to how charges must be founded, you may have a defense immediately without knowing it. An experienced lawyer can help you establish this and keep you from inadvertently placing yourself into more criminal issues.
Consult an experienced attorney to represent you from the start of the process. They can review the facts presented and offer professional guidance on how to proceed and what to say or do to avoid implicating yourself further.
The Distinct Advantage You Need
Who better to represent you when facing criminal charges than a former prosecutor? Chad has years of experience as a prosecutor and now as a criminal defense attorney. What does this mean for you? A unique perspective into the strategies necessary to fiercely fight for his clients.
Chad has multiple years of experience on both sides of the courtroom and is more than sufficiently prepared to represent you tirelessly and effectively so you can obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Contact my office today at (305) 204-5000 to learn how I can best assist you with your criminal charges moving forward and become an exceptional advocate for you and your family.