Due to the Sunshine State’s geographic location, historically, it’s been a popular destination for the importation of drugs. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that possession of cocaine is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties. Florida drug possession charges should not be taken lightly, as a criminal sentence can result in overwhelming fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record that can haunt you for the rest of your life. That said, if you’ve been arrested for the possession of cocaine, it’s in your best interest to contact a determined Pensacola Drug Crimes Lawyer who can help protect your rights and interests. Please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for the possession of cocaine in Florida.
What Schedule Drug is Cocaine?
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) enforced the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to establish a federal drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain substances are regulated. Essentially, the CSA is used to prosecute violators by classifying drugs and other substances into five distinct schedules based on the drug’s accepted medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The schedules range from Schedule I to V. Schedule I drugs are considered to have the highest risk of abuse and have no recognized medical use for treatment in the U.S., while Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug. Therefore, due to the highly addictive nature of the drug, Florida carries harsh penalties for cocaine possession, distribution, and trafficking.
What are the potential penalties for cocaine possession in Florida?
If you’re caught in the possession of less than 28 grams of cocaine, it’s considered a third-degree felony. This is because of the high potential for abuse. The crime of possession of cocaine in the third-degree felony is punishable by a potential fine of $5,000, five years of probation, and up to five years of imprisonment. However, if the prosecutor can prove you had the intent to sell or deliver less than 28 grams of cocaine, it’s elevated to a second-degree felony. This can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years of imprisonment. The possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine is prosecuted as trafficking. If the weight of the drug is 28 grams or more, the penalty is up to 30 years of imprisonment. Furthermore, any person who is convicted of possession of cocaine will face a six-month license suspension.
If you were charged with possession of cocaine, you need a seasoned Pensacola drug crimes lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Burns to represent you. Our legal team is prepared to aggressively defend you to shield you from your charges. Allow our firm to represent your interests today to maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome for your case.