West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Lawyer

Understanding Drug Crimes & Penalties in Florida

In the state of Florida, drug charges pertain to any controlled substance, including marijuana, prescription drugs, and methamphetamines. Any illegal use, sale, possession, or manufacture of a controlled drug could lead to an arrest and serious criminal charges. At The Pakett Law Group, PA, Attorney Brian Pakett has an in-depth knowledge of the state and federal laws as they pertain to drug charges, and he uses that experience to help provide clients with a favorable defense for their case. Let our West Palm Beach drug crime attorney help protect your rights and your future by reaching out today. 

Arrested for a drug-related crime in West Palm Beach? Call 561-318-0531 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation right away to start discussing your defense.

Drug Crimes in Florida

In 2018, there were 134,396 drug and narcotics-related arrests reported statewide. Of these, 128,992 of the accused were adults and 5,404 were juveniles. People who identify as males were more likely to be arrested for drug charges than females. 

Based on the same data from 2018, a large portion of state drug arrests occur in South Florida, especially in Miami-Dade County. Locally, the West Palm Beach area saw 7,857 arrests that year—that’s roughly 20 drug-related arrests every day. 

What Are Drug Schedules Under Florida Law?

Like many other U.S. states, Florida law divides drugs into categories called “Schedules” based on factors like the effects of the drug and the severity of associated punishments.

These include, from the order of most to least severe:

  • Schedule 1: Drugs with the highest likelihood to cause dependency due to their lack of medical use, at least according to the law, such as marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, and LSD.
  • Schedule 2: illicit and prescription drugs such as cocaine, morphine, Adderall, Oxycodone, etc.
  • Schedule 3: Ketamine, anabolic steroids, etc.
  • Schedule 4: Xanax, Valium, etc.
  • Schedule 5: Cough medicines with codeine, Ezogabine, etc.

View the full list here.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Florida

Florida statutes state it is illegal to sell, possess, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell certain controlled substances, like prescription pain medications, cannabis, and cocaine. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Florida, you could face harsh penalties if convicted.

Depending on the drug, amount, and type of offense, you could receive prison time from one to 30 years and fines which can vary from $1,000 to $750,000. In addition to fines and prison time, you will also lose your driver’s license for at least six months if convicted of a drug crime in Florida.

If you or a loved one is facing a drug charge, be sure to contact a Florida drug crime lawyer immediately.

First-Degree Felony Drug Crimes in Florida

First-degree felony drug crimes are the most serious drug crimes in Florida. These offenses include possession of more than ten grams of certain Schedule I and II drugs, sale of certain drugs within 1000 feet of a school, church, or park, and drug trafficking. Penalties for these drug crimes depend on the type of crime, type of drug, and amount of drug involved in the offense.

First-degree felony drug possession penalties include up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Drug trafficking offenses carry penalties of up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.

Second-Degree Felony Drug Crimes in Florida

Second-degree felony drug offenses generally include possession of the chemicals to make methamphetamine, GHB, or ecstasy, and possession with intent to sell. In Florida, the penalties for second-degree drug felonies include up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Third-Degree Felony Drug Crimes in Florida

Third-degree felony drug charges can sometimes include possession, depending on how much of a specific drug is in your possession. Of course, this charge is reached depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance in possession.

Below is a breakdown of the type and amount of drug that would result in a third-degree felony charge:

  • Cocaine: less than 28 grams
  • Heroin: less than four grams
  • Methamphetamine: less than 14 grams
  • Oxycodone: less than seven grams without a prescription
  • Xanax: any amount without a valid prescription
  • Cannabis: 20 grams or more

Penalties for third-degree felony drug charges include up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

First-Degree Misdemeanor Drug Crimes in Florida

Possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is considered a first-degree misdemeanor drug charge. Penalties can include up to one year in county jail and a maximum of a $1,000 fine.

What Is Considered Drug Trafficking in Florida?

In Florida, drug trafficking is the intentional sale, purchase, delivery, possession, manufacturing, or transportation of large amounts of narcotic drugs. Florida Statute 893.135 defines drug trafficking by weight and type of drug.

Penalties for drug trafficking include mandatory minimum sentencing of between 3 years and life in prison depending on the type of drug and the amount in possession. Fines can range from $25,000 to $750,000.

What is the Minimum Sentence for Drug Trafficking in Florida?

In Florida, the minimum sentence for drug trafficking depends heavily on the type and amount of drugs involved. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The state enforces strict mandatory minimums for specific quantities (e.g., three years for 25-2,000 pounds of marijuana). 

Outside those, sentences range from 3 to 25 years based on various factors. Heroin trafficking exceeding 30 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum life sentence. 

Consulting our Florida criminal defense attorney is essential for understanding your minimum sentence.

Florida Drug Court

In Florida, drug court programs provide addiction treatment as an alternative to prosecution and incarceration for first-time drug offenders. A court-supervised, comprehensive drug treatment program, drug court includes regular appearances in court, frequent, random testing for substance use, and substance abuse treatment in either an outpatient or inpatient setting.

To be eligible for drug court, an arrestee must be charged with one of the following:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Prostitution
  • Tampering with evidence
  • Solicitation for the purchase of a controlled substance
  • Obtaining a prescription by fraud
  • A non-violent felony and identified as having a substance abuse problem

Once a participant successfully completes the one-year program, their treatment counselor will recommend discharge from the program and the participant will graduate.

If you or one of your family members has been charged with a drug crime in Florida, contact our West Palm Beach drug lawyers today at 561-318-0531 to learn if a Florida drug court program is right for you.

Criminal Defense for State & Federal Drug Crimes

Did you know that many drug crimes are considered federal offenses? Being arrested for a drug crime could mean that you suddenly face state and federal penalties and need the help of an experienced lawyer on your side. Because most controlled substances are federally regulated, your chances of facing a judge in federal court can exponentially increase. Prosecutors will investigate every portion of your case, including your arrest, the type of drug you had on you, and whether you were under the influence.

At The Pakett Law Group, PA, our West Palm Beach drug crime attorney can help create a personalized defense for a variety of criminal charges, including:

  • Drug Possession/Possession of a controlled substance
  • Manufacturing of a controlled substance
  • Drug Sales and distribution
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Marijuana crimes
  • DUI of marijuana or another drug

Your specific case may vary depending on a variety of factors surrounding your arrest. In order to safeguard your future, exercise your right to an attorney can call The Pakett Law Group, PA right away.

Aggressive Defense for Drug-Related Crimes in West Palm Beach

Drug crime convictions hold the potential for serious penalties, including court fees, fines, counseling for drug addiction, parole, and in some cases, prison time. Your life is on the line, and it is important that you take control of your circumstances by working with an experienced and understanding West Palm Beach drug crime attorney.

Facing drug crime charges in West Palm Beach, Florida? Call The Pakett Law Group, PA at 561-318-0531 today or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

If you want a lawyer that will do everything to help you, Brian Pakett is the lawyer for you.

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