Heroin Possession in Florida
Under Florida law, heroin is a Schedule I drug. This means lawmakers consider it to have a high potential for abuse while also having no currently accepted medical use in the U.S. As a Schedule I drug, manufacturing, transporting, selling, possessing and using heroin is entirely illegal throughout the state (and the country). If you are caught with any amount of heroin on your person, then you will be charged with a crime, which is almost always a felony.
Heroin Possession Charges
Under Florida Statute §893.13(6)(a), it is illegal to actually or constructively possess a controlled substance unless you have a valid prescription. Since heroin is not available by prescription, then it is always illegal to possess it. To have actual possession of the drug, you must have known that you had the drug in your physical presence and you had control over the drug. You will be accused of actual possession if the police find heroin in your pocket or your purse or backpack.
However, you may also be charged with heroin possession if you have constructive possession. You do not have to have physical contact or control over the drug in order for a prosecutor to prove constructive possession. You do have to have actual knowledge of where the drug was and the ability to access it and control it if you wanted to.
If you are charged with heroin possession, you face a third-degree felony charge. You can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison, $5,000 in fines, and have your driver’s license suspended. Even if you receive fewer years in prison, you may have to abide by the rules of probation for years. Having a felony record will also make moving forward in life difficult. A criminal record can create hurdles when you want to go back to school, get a professional license, maintain a good job, obtain loans, rent an apartment, and more. It can also affect child custody and your immigration status. Not to mention, as a convicted felon, it is illegal to own or possess firearms.
Florida Statute §893.13(1) makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to sell or deliver any controlled substance. If you are caught selling heroin, or possessing it with the intent to sell, then you face a second-degree felony charge. This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, $10,000 in fines, and a driver’s license suspension.
You may be charged with drug trafficking if prosecutors find you in possession of 4 grams or more of heroin, according to Florida Statute §893.135. Trafficking is a first-degree felony. If you have between 4 and 14 grams, you will be sentenced to at least 3 years in prison and fined at least $50,000. Between 14 and 28 grams results in mandatory imprisonment of at least 15 years and a fine of $100,000. Between 28 grams and 30 kilograms is punished with a minimum of 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.
Call Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. for Help
If you have been charged with a heroin offense in Florida, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.