General Information on Drug Crimes

Under Florida’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, Fla. Stat. § 893.03, controlled substances in Florida are classified into five schedules, ranging from the most serious drugs with severe penalties, Schedule I, to the least serious drugs with the lightest controlled substance penalties, Schedule V drugs. The schedules are as follows:

  • Schedule I – These drugs have a high potential for abuse by users and no accepted medical use in the United States. Examples of controlled substances in this category are LSD, heroin and mescaline.
  • Schedule II – These drugs also have a high potential for abuse, but do have some accepted, yet limited, medical use in the United States. Examples include opium, cocaine and hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III – These drugs have some potential for abuse, but the potential is lower than Schedule I or II drugs. These drugs are also used for medical purposes in the United States. Controlled substances in this category can be drug or hormonal steroids related to testosterone, or steroids that promote muscle growth.
  • Schedule IV – These drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and are commonly used for medical purposes in the United States. Examples include Xanax or Valium.
  • Schedule V – Drugs in this schedule have the lowest potential for abuse and have commonly accepted medical purposes in the United States. Examples include stimulants not otherwise listed in another schedule or small doses of codeine or opium.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

The penalties that may be imposed for a drug crime conviction in Florida will vary greatly depending on the particular offense. For example, simple possession is a less serious offense than trafficking drugs. Another factor will be your criminal record. More serious penalties may apply if you already have a prior drug crime conviction on your record. Finally, the type and amount of drug involved will impact the severity of charges and final sentencing. If a drug is considered more dangerous, the penalties imposed even for possession alone will be steep.

If you or someone you care about has been arrested for a drug crime, call our office at 904.269.1111 for a free consultation so we can review the particular circumstances of your arrest and begin building your defense.

If you’d like more information on specific types of drug crimes, please click here.