What Are The Most Common Drug Offenses In Florida?

Drug crimes are all common in that you have a controlled substance that you possess illegally. There is no particular common one, although there have been trends over the years. For instance, in the eighties and nineties, cocaine was more prevalent. Then came the prescription fraud with hydrocodone and oxycodone in the nineties and twenty-first century. When the crackdown on that happened, people have been turning to other controlled substances and are actually back to heroin now. As a registered pharmacist, I am very familiar with all drugs including controlled substances.

Hydrocodone and oxycodone tablets that were very popular recently had a crackdown and procuring those prescriptions became more difficult because doctors and pharmacies would not fill them. Both of those drugs are in the class of opiates. They are all related to the opium plant and are what was typically known as a narcotic back in the old days. They are all different analogs of each other, slightly different modifications to the same chemical structure, which is morphine. Heroin is another analog of morphine and because it can be made from the opium plant and you do not have to get it via a prescription, the crackdown on those prescription opiates had caused a rise in heroin.

The Benefits Of Being A Registered Pharmacist When Handling Drug Cases

When I started college, I went to the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy to become a licensed registered pharmacist. At the time, it was a five-year program; now, there are only six-year programs in the U.S. but I got my degree and I sat for both the Illinois and Florida pharmacy exams, passed them both and became licensed and registered as a pharmacist in both states. Subsequent to practicing pharmacy for a short time, I went to law school and got my J.D. and sat for both the Illinois and Florida Bar exams and passed them both.

I am licensed in both disciplines and I have practiced both professions over the years, full time as a lawyer and part time as a pharmacist and I am also qualified as an expert witness in State and Federal Court in Florida as an expert in drug matters where I have testified. This qualification is helpful when drugs come into play as the basis for if someone is committing a crime. Oftentimes, people are addicted and they are craving for the drug. If they do not have money, it causes them to do foolish things like steel or rob. It also comes into play in DUI cases where they are under the influence of drugs as opposed to alcohol or in combination with alcohol and it can be the basis of mitigation at sentencing if you have a drug addiction. There is more to the impact of drugs in the criminal venue than just mere possession or sale.

Is A Drug Charge Aggravated If Someone Commits an Additional Crime Like Carrying A Gun?

They charge each crime separately. There are drug crimes that if, for example, you are selling to someone that you should know might overdose because they are an addict. If they die, it can escalate the penalties up to homicide. Having a gun and being in possession of drugs are separate offenses and they are charged separately. It would not be an enhancement, it would be additive as far as the possible penalty if you are convicted of both, but there are ways to get enhanced penalties when you are using drugs or selling them.

There are enhancements for committing these crimes in the presence of a minor. Here is a situation I have where my client was conducting his drug deal in his car and his wife and baby were in the car when he did this. The fact that a child was present during the commission of the felony in the child’s presence even though this was a toddler who did not know, but if you have got a minor present during the transaction of illegal drug sale, your penalties are going to be enhanced.

How Is Possession Or Sale Of Drugs Determined In Florida Statute?

Except for marijuana, possession of a controlled substance in Florida in any amount is a felony. The amount can increase the gravity of the felony, the severity of the felony and can escalate into what is called trafficking for larger amounts and those carry mandatory sentences. For marijuana, if it is under 20 g, it is a misdemeanor. If it is over 20 g, it is a felony. That is the only distinction when you are talking about controlled substances. For your information, controlled substances are drugs that are listed, both by the federal and state government as having a potential for abuse. They have five schedules and they call the schedules C1 for Control 1, C2 through C5.

The lower the number, therefore C1 has the most potential for abuse and most C1 drugs are not allowed to be prescribed in the United States. There are a couple of exceptions. Most of the drugs that you see in pharmacies or that are manufactured in illegal labs are C2 through C4. C5 is called an exempt narcotic and an example of that would be your codeine cough syrups and that you actually can get without a prescription at a dispensing pharmacy if you sign the book. You can also get the C5s under a prescription, so the penalties go up the lower the control number. Possession of a controlled one or two substance can be a first or second degree felony.

For more information on Common Drug Offenses In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 866-5717 today.