Florida Possession of Fentanyl Lawyers
As the popularity of the lethal drug fentanyl increases, so do criminal charges for the possession of fentanyl.
Under Florida’s Drug Prevention and Control Act, it is illegal to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or bring into Florida, or to be knowingly in actual or constructive possession of fentanyl or a fentanyl derivative. Fentanyl is considered a Schedule II drug.
Law enforcement will test and weigh the mixture containing the fentanyl, not the pure fentanyl itself. When the mixture weights 4 grams or more, the defendant will face enhanced charges for trafficking fentanyl in Florida.
What is Fentanyl?
Pharmaceutical fentanyl was initially developed as a pain management drug for cancer patients. The cancer patients would apply a patch in order to dispense the drug. The strong opioid properties have resulted in the fentanyl being converted to a street drug and abused.
On the streets, the Fentanyl is often added to heroin or sold as a highly potent heroin.
Some Fentanyl Street Terms include:
- China Girl
- China Town
- Dance fever
- Tango and Cash
- Great Bear
Florida Statute 893.12(6)(a) Includes Fentanyl
Florida Statute 893.12(6)(a) – A person may not be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless such controlled substance was lawfully obtained from a practitioner or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice or to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.
Penalties for Possession of Fentanyl in Florida
In Florida, possession of fentanyl is a third-degree felony charge.
Those who are convicted will be subject to up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison. Under Florida’s severity rankings, Possession of Fentanyl is a Level 3 offense.
While the judge can sentence a defendant to probation, they may also choose to impose a prison sentence up to five years in prison. Florida courts will also revoke a defendant’s driver’s license for six months after convicting him or her of possession of fentanyl. (Florida Statute 322.055)
Defenses to Fentanyl Possession Charges in Florida
Defendants can argue that they were not in constructive possession of fentanyl.
Prosecutors must prove that the defendant was in actual or constructive possession of fentanyl. Prosecutors must prove that the defendant had knowledge of fentanyl’s presence, and dominion and control of the fentanyl, meaning that the defendant could reach out and touch the fentanyl.
Defendants can also contend that law enforcement engaged in an illegal search and seizure.
The government of Florida is serious about prosecuting drug crimes, including possession of fentanyl. Law enforcement can overreach their boundaries when investigating drug possession crimes. Law enforcement must follow many guidelines when engaging in search and seizures. When they violate someone’s constitutional rights, the defendant can ask the judge to throw out the evidence.
Some of the potential defenses include:
- Mere proximity to the Fentanyl does not establish possession
- Temporary possession
- Knowledge is required. In actual possession the knowledge is presumed, however in constructive cases the knowledge of the Fentanyl is not presumed.
- Fourth amendment violation due to unlawful search and seizure – this could be an unlawful search of your vehicle or an unlawful search of your pockets.
- Prescription Defense
- Legally prescribed Fentanyl
Why You Need to Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Fentanyl is up to 75 times stronger than morphine. It can be deadly when inhaled. When someone overdoses on fentanyl, they put law enforcement and emergency responders at risk. If even a small amount of fentanyl becomes absorbed on a paramedic’s skin, it can be lethal.
Florida law enforcement understands how deadly fentanyl is, and for that reason, they prosecute cases aggressively.
The penalties for even the minimum amounts of fentanyl possession are extremely serious. An experienced lawyer can investigate your case and determine the best legal options for you. The attorneys can litigate the facts of the case, negotiate with your prosecutor for a favorable resolution and help you present evidence that proves your innocence.
Contact Our Florida Fentanyl Possession Attorneys as Soon as Possible
If you are facing fentanyl possession charges in Orlando, our law firm can help. The lawyers at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law are prepared to fight hard for your rights throughout the criminal justice process. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Possession of Fentanyl Resources:
Florida Statute 893.12(6)(a) – Possession of Controlled Substance Statute
Florida Statute 893.03(2)(b)9 – Fentanyl listed as a Schedule II drug
Florida Statute 322.055 – Driver’s license suspension for drug conviction
Florida Statute 893.21 – Overdose possession
Florida Statute 777.201 – Entrapment Statute