Drug sale or distribution is taken much more seriously than simple possession. If there is evidence to indicate you have been selling or distributing certain amounts of drugs, including possessing a larger amount than would be reasonable for personal use, the crime is considered a felony, with a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison. If you are accused of selling drugs within a certain distance of a school or to minors, you will face more severe penalties.
In Florida, controlled substances are broken up into five schedules, depending on their likelihood for abuse and danger. For example, a Schedule V drug has little risk for abuse and may be accepted for medical use, but is being sold illegally on the streets. Comparatively, a Schedule I drug, such as heroin, is highly dangerous and carries a major risk of addiction and abuse. Not only will the penalties depend on the schedule of drug involved, but they also depend on the amount involved. You could be facing the following penalties for Schedule I-IV drug sales:
- Felony in the first degree: For the sale of or intent to sell more than 10 grams of any type of Schedule I (with a few exceptions), which is punishable by up to 30 years behind bars and up to $10,000 in fines
- Felony in the second degree: For the sale or intent to sell Schedule I or Schedule II drugs (with a few exceptions), which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Felony in the third degree: For the sale of or intent to sell Schedule I hallucinogens, certain Schedule II drugs, and all Schedule III and IV drugs. This is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
You could also face a misdemeanor if charged with selling a Schedule V drug, which can carry up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Final sentencing for a drug distribution conviction in Florida may also include probation, drug counseling, fines, or a long-term prison sentence. The type and term of punishment will depend upon a variety of factors:
- The amount of drugs involved
- The type of drug or drugs involved
- Any prior arrests or convictions
- The involvement of minors
If you, a loved one or friend has been charged with a drug crime in Florida, contact the experienced drug crime defense attorneys of Kopelousos, Bradley & Garrison, P.A. at 904.269.1111 for a free consultation. It is essential that you have that attorney with you during any interrogation and throughout each step of the legal process. We’re ready to discuss the facts of your particular situation and begin building your defense.