Understanding Florida drug laws

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Drug Crime, Drug Crimes

Drug possession can result in serious legal consequences in Florida. Understanding the potential effects of a conviction is important when you face a court date for these charges.

Review the factors that influence the prosecution of drug possession and related crimes in Florida.

Defining drug crimes

Possession charges apply in Florida when a person has controlled substances for his or her own use. The state can elevate charges to trafficking with evidence that the person manufactured, distributed, or sold the substance in question. Another charge, possession with intent to sell, indicates evidence that the person planned to distribute the drugs even if he or she did not actually do so.

Possession levels

Florida charges most drug possession cases as felonies with the exception of small amounts of cannabis. The person could receive third-degree felony charges for less than:

  • 1 gram of LSD (acid)
  • 4 grams of heroin or prescription opioids
  • 10 grams of ecstasy or MDMA
  • 28 grams of cocaine

A conviction for a third-degree felony carries up to five years in prison in Florida. The state increases charges to the first-degree felony level for more than these thresholds. A conviction can result in up to 30 years in prison.

Some drug crimes receive prosecution at the federal level. For example, crossing state lines in possession of a controlled substance can result in federal drug trafficking charges.

People who have prior convictions may receive increased penalties. Conversely, a person who has no criminal history may be eligible for diversion programs such as drug court.