If you are charged with drug possession, you can face a variety of penalties depending on the type of drug found as well as the amount. For example, individuals convicted of a third-degree felony drug possession can face up to five years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

While each state has its own guidelines, Florida enforces some of the most severe drug possession laws in the country. Though Florida legislature has tried to soften some of these penalties, nothing has been done so far.

If you are charged with drug possession, it is highly recommended that you contact a local, Florida criminal defense attorney. He or she will be able to explain the specific Florida laws which you are in violation of, what you might be faced with if convicted, and what he or she can do to help you fight the charge(s).

Being charged with possession can either be considered a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida. Mandatory sentencing guidelines may not apply, but even if there is no sentence declared, the consequences could still be very serious. For example, individuals possessing less than twenty grams of marijuana can be faced with misdemeanor charges for drug possession, be sentenced to one year in jail, and be fined up to $1,000.

People in possession of heroin, cocaine, or certain other illegal drugs can be charged with a third-degree felony, which often carries more severe penalties than those of a misdemeanor drug possession charge. Individuals convicted of a third-degree felony for drug possession can face up to five years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

The more serious charges are reserved for individuals in possession of Schedule I drugs (these types of drugs, such as heroin, are more likely to be abused and have a high level of psychological/physical dependence). When drug amounts are more than 10 grams, individuals caught with a Schedule I drug could face up to 30 years in prison.

Although you can have a possession charge without a mandatory minimum sentence, you should still consult a drug crime lawyer for help, as you could be facing years of jail time and high dollar fines.

It is also possible that what may appear to be a simple possession charge could actually be a drug trafficking charge. These more serious types of charges may require mandatory minimum sentencing, which takes the power of sentencing out of the judge’s hands and result in you facing more jail time (3-25 years) and higher fines ($50,000-$750,000).

Possession: What Drugs & Amounts Would Require Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Most people think of drug trafficking as large cartels moving truckloads of illegal drugs around the world for distribution. Florida law, however, does not look at it that way, and you do not want to be on the wrong end of a drug trafficking charge!

For example, it has now reached the point in Florida where if police found you with only four grams—one small teaspoon full—of an illegal opioid, you could face a mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for drug trafficking.

Below are a few examples of Florida’s minimum sentencing laws:

Mandatory Minimum Sentence       Amount of Substance                      Fine

3 years                                                14 grams of Amphetamine                 $50,000

3 years                                                28 grams of Cocaine                          $50,000

3 years                                                1 gram of LSD                                   $50,000

7years                                                 5 grams of LSD                                   $100,000

7 years                                                28 grams of Amphetamine                 $100,000

7 years                                                200 grams of MDMA                          $100,000

15 years                                              7 grams of LSD                                   $250,000

15 years                                              200 grams of Amphetamine               $250,000

15 years                                              400 grams of Cocaine                        $250,000

25 years                                              28 grams or more of Opiates             $500,000

25 years                                              100 grams of more Oxycodone          $750,000

25 years                                              200 g or more of Hydrocondone        $750,000

The list continues, so you do not want to face a trafficking drug charge in Florida without the help and guidance of a criminal defense attorney. Always keep in mind that these charges and fines above are mandatory minimum sentences in Florida, and not even the judge can intervene.

You could be looking at decades of prison time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. You need a local Florida attorney who will fight back! Any drug charge in Florida, whether possession or trafficking, can result in either jail time and/or high dollar fines.

If I Am Charged With a Drug Crime in Florida, What Should I Do?

You now know being charged with a drug crime in Florida puts you in a serious situation. One of the first things to do is make sure that you have been given your Miranda rights and that they were given correctly. Florida courts take the Miranda rights seriously and your lawyer may have the beginnings of a solid defense if these rights were not given or not given correctly.

A third-degree misdemeanor possession charge could result in five years of prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. If, however, the charge is drug trafficking, you could be faced with mandatory minimum penalties that result in decades of prison time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines!

So, whether you are charged with drug possession, drug trafficking, or any related charges, the best advice is to get counsel from a local, Florida criminal defense attorney that fights for the accused. Your attorney will have the expertise required to explain your charges, advice for your protection, and knowledge of how to proceed in order to help you maintain your freedom.

You may ask, “what can a criminal defense attorney do for me?” The answer is that an attorney may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and—more importantly—decades of prison time. They have the tools to provide you with what you need!