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What to know when facing drug possession charges

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Florida cracks down on drug crimes with harsh laws. The goal is to help save lives as the state experienced 37.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2021, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Individuals facing possession charges should understand the law and what could potentially happen to them.

Types of controlled substances

Florida law categorizes drugs into different schedules based on their potential for abuse and medical use. Schedule I substances, like heroin and LSD, are highly addictive and have no accepted medical use. Schedule II substances, such as cocaine and certain prescription medications, have a high potential for abuse. Other schedules encompass a range of drugs with varying degrees of risk and medical application.

Possession of controlled substances charges

Possession of a controlled substance involves having a certain amount of an illicit substance without a valid prescription. The penalties for possession depend on the type and amount of the drug. For example, possessing a larger quantity of a substance may lead to more severe consequences.

Charges can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors usually occur with smaller amounts of drugs and are not Schedule I or II substances. Felony charges often involve larger quantities of drugs or those that are in the higher schedules.

Potential penalties

The penalties for drug possession can include fines, probation, mandatory drug treatment programs and even imprisonment. The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as the type of drug, the amount in possession and any previous criminal record.

In some cases, individuals may be eligible for alternative sentencing or diversion programs. These programs aim to rehabilitate offenders and address the root causes of drug-related behavior. Successful completion of these programs may lead to reduced charges or even dismissal of the case.

Understanding drug possession laws in Florida is an important step to help individuals make informed decisions and navigate the legal system effectively.