According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths in the United States grew by 30% from 2019 to 2020 and increased by 15% from 2020 to 2021. In 2020 and 2021, overdoses involving fentanyl far outnumbered overdoses involving other controlled substances. As a result of this increase in fentanyl overdoses, many states imposed strict penalties for the possession and distribution of the drug.
If you are facing charges for possession of fentanyl in Florida, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Our team at Moses & Rooth has extensive experience handling fentanyl possession charges in Florida. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Charges for Fentanyl Possession in Florida
Florida considers pure fentanyl a Schedule II substance and any fentanyl derivative a Schedule I substance. Florida Statute Section 893.13(6)(a) prohibits individuals from possessing a controlled substance without a prescription. Having “possession” of a substance means that you knew the substance was illegal and you either 1) had the controlled substance on your person, or 2) had knowledge that it was in your presence (in a bag or container) and had control over the substance. The first scenario is considered actual possession and the second is considered constructive possession.
If you are facing fentanyl possession in Florida, contact Moses & Rooth right away. Our team has handled multiple cases involving individuals accused of fentanyl possession. We strive to give our clients the highest level of legal representation and answer all their questions. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation.
Is Possession of Fentanyl a Felony in Florida?
Possession of fentanyl is a third-degree felony in Florida. A third-degree felony carries a maximum potential prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, the court can suspend your driver’s license, require you to participate in drug counseling, and send you to inpatient drug treatment.
If you possess more than four grams of fentanyl, you could face trafficking charges. Trafficking fentanyl is considered a first-degree felony in Florida. If you had between four and fourteen grams of fentanyl, the judge is required to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine but can impose a sentence of up to 30 years. If you had more than fourteen grams but less than twenty-eight grams of fentanyl, the judge is required to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a $100,000 fine but can impose a sentence of up to 30 years. If you had more than twenty-eight grams of fentanyl, the judge is required to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years in prison and a $500,000 fine but can impose a sentence of up to 30 years.
In drug trafficking cases, a judge cannot sentence a person to below the statutorily required mandatory minimum sentence unless the State Attorney agrees to waive the mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.
Defenses to Felony Possession of Fentanyl
Being charged with fentanyl possession does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can present a valid legal defense and negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Common legal defenses that arise in fentanyl possession cases include:
- You have a valid prescription for fentanyl;
- The evidence against you is inadmissible in court;
- Authorities didn’t have a good reason to stop you;
- You did not have actual or constructive possession of the fentanyl (i.e., it was found in a shared area, and you did not know it was there); or
- Your constitutional rights were violated.
Many individuals facing allegations of fentanyl possession struggle to understand which defenses apply to their scenario. A drug possession attorney at Moses & Rooth can explain the legal defenses that may fit your case. Contact our office today to discuss your situation with one of our qualified criminal defense lawyers.
Contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law for Assistance with Fentanyl Possession Charges
The best way to secure a favorable outcome in your fentanyl possession case involves hiring a criminal defense attorney to defend you. Attorneys Andrew Moses and Jay Rooth both have prior experience as prosecutors and see the criminal justice system from several perspectives. As a result, we can often anticipate the prosecution’s strategies. Our team has extensive courtroom experience and in-depth knowledge of the federal and state criminal justice systems.
We know that when you need a criminal defense lawyer, you need help immediately. That is why we answer the phone 24 hours a day. When you have questions about your case, we will answer them as soon as possible.