What Is a Drug Possession Charge? 

 November 3, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Like every state, Florida has its own laws and regulations regarding the possession of controlled substances. With the “war on drugs,” law enforcement is increasingly harsh in their pursuit of catching drug offenders.

What Is a Controlled Substance?

A state or government can classify a certain substance as “controlled.” This means the use and distribution of that substance is controlled and governed by law. Generally, the use of these substances is illegal without a prescription from a physician. Both federal and state laws have classifications for controlled substances based on the likelihood of an individual abusing them. In Florida, drugs are classified in the following ways:

  • Schedule I: The highest potential for abuse. The state does not recognize any medical use for these drugs.
  • Schedule II: A high potential for abuse. However, there are accepted medical uses but there are severe restrictions on who can use them.
  • Schedule III: There is a moderate potential for abuse. Schedule III substances have accepted medical use.
  • Schedule IV: There is a lower potential for abuse and has an acceptable medical use. However, the abuse can cause a limited psychological and physical dependence.
  • Schedule V: These have the lowest potential for abuse and have accepted medical uses. Could be categorized as medicines, which include small traces of higher classified drugs.

4 Types of Drug Charges

In Florida, there are several different types of drug charges a person can face. The most common drug offenses include:

  • Possession: This is the charge that most people are familiar with. Anyone found with access to a controlled substance without a valid prescription can be charged with possession.
  • Distribution: The distribution of drugs refers to selling, delivering or providing a controlled substance.
  • Trafficking: This charge deals with the type of controlled substance and its weight. Each controlled substance has a specific weight that determines if it is a trafficking amount.
  • Manufacturing: Creating, cultivating manufacturing a controlled substance is both a federal and state offense.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Florida

The punishment and penalties for a drug charge are determined by a number of factors. The type of drug and its schedule and the individual’s criminal history can both influence a conviction. Therefore, punishments can range from probation to 30 years in prison. It all depends on the circumstances since each case is different.

Call the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a drug crime, do not gamble with freedom and call the experienced attorneys at LMW. We are skilled in criminal defense and will fight vigorously for your rights. Contact LMW for your free consultation today.