Florida law establishes several different controlled substance crimes. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could receive charges of possession or possession with intent to sell.
Before facing your court date, learn about the state-imposed penalties for drug-related convictions.
Third-degree felony possession
Possession of more than 10 grams of any controlled substance outside Schedule I is a third-degree felony in Florida. Like the federal government, Florida classifies controlled substances based on their potential for abuse. These charges apply to drugs including but not limited to cocaine, opium, morphine, anabolic steroids and prescription narcotics. If you receive a conviction for third-degree felony possession, the court can order a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
First-degree felony possession
These charges apply to Schedule I drugs, including but not limited to heroin and LSD. If you had more than 10 grams of a Schedule I substance at the time of arrest, you could receive a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison for a conviction.
In Florida, drug trafficking is also a first-degree felony. Penalties for this crime vary significantly based on the substance and amount. Trafficking convictions are subject to mandatory minimum sentencing as follows:
- $50,000 fine and at least three years in prison for 28 to 199 g cocaine or 4 to 14 g heroin
- $100,000 fine and at least seven years in prison for 200 to 400 g cocaine
- $100,000 fine and at least 15 years in prison for 14 to 28 g heroin
- $250,000 fine and at least 15 years in prison for 400 g to 149 kg cocaine
- $500,000 fine and at least 25 years in prison for 28 go to 30 kg heroin
- $500,000 fine and life in prison for more than 30 kg heroin
Some offenders may qualify for a Florida county drug court program. These alternative sentencing options provide an opportunity to have charges dismissed upon successful completion.