It is clear that Florida and other states are tough on drug in general. The state seeks to reduce the amount of illegal substances being sold and used. As a means to deter such conduct, drug statutes penalize possession, sale, manufacturing and trafficking on such substances. Based on the type of drug in question, a defendant could face a wide range of penalties.
Take for example heroin. When an individual is caught in possession of heroin, whether it is for personal use or for sale, state and federal drug laws could cause a person to face serious consequences. Because heroin has one of the most devastating consequences when it comes to drugs and their legal and health ramifications, the law is tough on individuals in possession of this drug.
With regards to Florida laws, they are not lenient on heroin. In fact, possession results in a felony charge. While this is a serious penalty, the state does offer first-time offenders the option to enter into treatment. There are specific drug courts that focus on helping drug crime defendants avoid jail time by entering treatment and complying with other terms and conditions.
For a possession charge, penalties can range depending on the quantity of heroin the accused is in possession of. For example, a third-degree felony possession charge could result in up to five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines and a driver’s license suspension. A charge for sale, delivery or manufacturing heroin as a second degree felony could result in up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, up to $10,000 in fines and a driver’s license suspension.
A heroin trafficking charge has mandatory prison minimums and is based on the weight in question. For example, trafficking between four and 14 grams results in a three-year prison sentence and a fine of $50,000. On the other hand, 30 kilograms or more results in life in prison and a fine of $500,000.
Facing a drug charge, like heroin, is a serious matter. Defendants should treat it seriously, exploring what options they might have to avoid harsh penalties often associated with a conviction. Whether that means taking the matter to court or reaching a plea bargain, it is important to become informed.