Defending Drug Crimes in Orlando Florida
Drug offenses in Orlando, Florida can include a variety of crimes, ranging from misdemeanors with light sentences to felonies with very harsh punishments. Drug charges can also be classified as federal offenses, state offenses or both. Federal charges usually carry much stiffer punishments and harsher penalties than state offenses. A few common drug offenses are:
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Orlando, it is very important to hire an attorney that is familiar with Florida’s drug laws, and will attempt to find defenses or mitigating circumstances to help you find the best possible outcome for your situation. For example, if the arresting officer did not read your Miranda Warnings, or your charge was the product of an illegal search, your Orlando defense attorney may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Orlando Drug Defense Lawyer
The attorneys at Hale, Hale & Jacobson can help you avoid harsh punishments and severe repercussions for your drug offense in Orlando, Florida. They will make every effort to find the best possible outcome for your situation, and have your drug charges reduced or dismissed. The attorneys at Hale, Hale & Jacobson are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s drug laws. Call (407) 425-4640 to discuss your case during an honest and free consultation.
Orlando Drug Crimes Information Center
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Drug Offenses and Statutes in Florida
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, codified in Florida Statutes chapter 893, governs all state drug charges in Florida. The Act defines all charges and penalties for drug offenses in Florida. Section 893.13 lists acts that are prohibited by the Act, including:
The sale, manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to sell any controlled substance can be a felony or misdemeanor offense. These charges are more commonly known as Possession with Intent to Sell or Drug Manufacturing.
The sale or delivery of any controlled substance in excess of 10 grams is a felony of the first degree. This charge is more frequently known as Drug Trafficking.
The purchase of, or attempt to purchase a controlled substance can be a felony or misdemeanor offense. These charges are frequently known as Possession of a Controlled Substance or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. This offense can also be Drug Trafficking depending on the amount purchased.
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Florida’s Drug Schedule
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act classifies drugs, or controlled substances into schedules, from Schedule I to Schedule V. The schedules basically categorize controlled substances and drugs, and range from very addicting drugs with any offense carrying a high penalty (Schedule I) to rarely addictive drugs with offenses incurring lighter punishments (Schedule V).
- Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no known, or used, medical application in the United States. Some examples are GHB, heroin and LSD.
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but are used for medical purposes in the United States. Common examples are opium, hydrocodone and Vicodin.
- Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, and have a known medical use in the United States. Examples include barbituic acid and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and are used for medical purposes in the United States.
- Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and are commonly used in medical applications in the United States.
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Examples of Controlled Substances in Florida
Controlled substances can include a variety of drugs or substances, including prescription medications, pills without medications, street drugs, any derivative or base of street drugs or medications, or any other substance that may be abused as a drug. Some examples of controlled substances are:
Prescription Pills / Medications
- Alprazolam, also known as Xanax
- Anabolic Steroids
- Codeine or Hydrocodone with an NSAID or acetaminophen, also known as Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet
- Dextropropoxyphene, also known as Darvon, Darvocet
- Enzodiazepines, also known as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium)
- Methadone, also known as Dolophine, Methadose
- Methylphendiate, also known as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall
- Morphine, also known as Roxanol, Kapanol
- Oxycodone Hydrochloride, also known as OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan
- Oxymorphone, also known as Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone
- Pure Codeine
- Pure Hydrocodone
- Zolpidem, also known as Ambien
- Amphetamines, also known as Uppers, Speed, Black Beauties, Bennies
- Benzoylecgonine, also known as Cocaine Metabolite
- Benzoylmethylecgonine, also known as Ecgonine, Cocaine, Powder, White Lady, Blow, Coke, Coca
- Cathinone, also known as Bath Salts
- Diacetylmorphine, also known as Heroin, Smack, Black Tar
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as GHB, the Date Rape Drug
- Ketamine, also known as Special K, K
- Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, Acid
- Marinol, also known as THC Pill, Synthetic Cannabis
- Mescaline, also known as Peyote, San Pedro, Achuma, Peruvian Torch cacti
- Methamphetamine, also known as Meth, Speed
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy, MDMA
- Opium, also known as Poppy, Poppy Seeds, Opiates
- Phenylcyclidine, also known as PCP, Angel Dust
- Psilocybin, also known as Psilocyn, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms
- Salvia divinorum, also known as Salvinorin A, Salvia, Synthetic Marijuana
- Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), also known as Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot, Weed, Ganja, Bud, Chronic
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Penalties for Drug Crimes in Orlando, Florida
The potential punishments you will face for a drug offense depends on the crime you are convicted of, and the degree of severity of the offense. For example, any drug crimes in the vicinity of an elementary school, public school or university, public housing facility, or to someone under the age of 18 are more severe and incur greater punishments. The following list describes punishment ranges in Florida:
- Misdemeanor of the Second Degree - Jail time up to 60 days, and/or fines not more than $500;
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Jail time up to one year, and/or a fine not more than $1,000;
- Felony of the Third Degree – Prison sentence up to five years, and/or fines up to $5,000;
- Felony of the Second Degree – Prison time up to 15 years, and/or fines up to $10,000;
- Felony of the First Degree – Imprisonment not more than 30 years, and/or fines not more than $10,000; and
- Life Felony – Florida prison sentence ranging from 30 years to not more than life in prison, and/or fines up to $15,000.
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Federal Controlled Substances Act
The federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq.) defines federal drug charges and the penalties they can incur. Federal charges typically arise when someone commits a drug offense across state borders or enters Florida from another country while committing a drug offense. However, someone can be charged with a federal drug offenses even while in the state of Florida.
The federal Controlled Substance Act also categorizes controlled substances into Schedules similar to the Florida Drug Schedule, with Schedule I drugs classified as most likely to be abused, and Schedule B drugs as the least likely to be abused.
Penalties for a conviction of a federal drug offense are more serious than state drug offenses, and can include felonies and misdemeanors. Federal drug sentences usually impose much longer prison sentences and much greater fines.
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Florida’s Drug Court and Federal First Time Offender Act
Florida and federal laws both provide methods to avoid jail or prison time for offenders who have been charged with certain nonviolent first time drug offenses.
Florida’s Drug Court - is a voluntary program available for drug offenders that have been charged with a misdemeanor or third degree felony drug offense. The alleged offender must have no other drug offenses, and only includes possession charges, drug sale charges, drug delivery charges, and any other offense that is drug-based. The drug court usually involves regular court appearances before a drug court judge, substance abuse treatment, counseling and monitoring to prevent repeat offenses. Most criminal charges will be dismissed after the drug court has been successfully completed.
Federal First Time Offender Act – is for first time federal drug crime offenders who have been charged under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and have not previously had a charged dismissed under the First Time Offender Act. Eligible offenders may receive probation up to one year without a conviction, and after successfully completing probation, their drug charges may be dismissed.
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Drug Resources in Orlando
Drug Enforcement Administration – The DEA is a national governmental agency that enforces the United State’s laws and regulations regarding drugs and controlled substances.
Federal Drug Penalties – The Drug Enforcement Administration’s web site has information about specific federal penalties, including prison sentences and fines, for possessing, trafficking and distributing controlled substances.
Narcotics Anonymous – NA is a non-profit organization designed for people who have a drug addiction to meet and support each other in order to stay drug-free. The website contains more information and where meetings are held in Orlando, Florida.
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Hale, Hale & Jacobson | Orlando Drug Arrest Attorney
Contact the law offices of Hale, Hale & Jacobson today for a consultation about your drug charge in Orlando, Florida. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to hear the facts of your particular case, and help you navigate the court system. Contact Hale, Hale & Jacobson at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your drug charges in Orange County and surrounding areas, including Seminole County, Osceola County, Orlando, Winter Park and Kissimmee.
Contributor: Richard Hale