Like all drugs, it is illegal to possess, distribute, cultivate or traffic fentanyl. If an officer finds it in your possession, then you can face dire consequences. Trafficking can be penalized even more heavily.
Learn more about possessing and trafficking fentanyl from our Florida team of drug charges defense lawyers at Fletcher & Fletcher.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse with the NIH, it is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent.
Unless it is distributed in a medical setting, where it is usually used to treat patients with severe or chronic pain, then it is illegal to make or use.
This drug is illegal in the U.S. and Florida due to its strong effect on the human body. It is also one of the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States.
Drug schedules in Florida
So how does the state of Florida differentiates between different types of drugs? You can think of schedules like tiers for the seriousness of controlled substances.
Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous and addictive drugs with no medical use, and Schedule V have the lowest potential for abuse and dependency.
Some common controlled substances are classified as follows:
- Schedule I: Heroin, cannabis, cocaine, LSD
- Schedule II: Codeine, morphine, opium
- Schedule III: Testosterone, anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Diazepam or tramadol
- Schedule V: Cough suppressants
In the state of Florida, fentanyl is considered a Schedule II drug.
Possession and trafficking of fentanyl in Florida
As a Schedule II drug, fentanyl possession is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and with fine of up to $5,000. You can also be sentenced to a five-year probation.
However, because fentanyl is a strong drug, possession of even a small amount of it can be considered a trafficking charge.
Many consider trafficking only the distribution of a drug, but trafficking also includes possession of “excessive amounts” of a drug. In the case of fentanyl, that can be as little as four grams.
The penalties for trafficking fentanyl are more grave for possession of higher amounts.
They are as followed:
- 4 to 14 grams: a $50,000 fine, and up to 30 years in prison, with a minimum of a three-year mandatory sentence
- 14 to 28 grams: a $100,000 fine, and up to 30 years in prison with a minimum of a 15-year mandatory sentence
- 28 grams: a $500,000 fine, and up to 30 years in prison with a minimum of a 25-year mandatory sentence
Defenses for fentanyl possession and trafficking in Florida
No one can deny the gravity of penalties for fentanyl possession and trafficking in Florida. These are life-altering measures. However, an experienced defense lawyer will support you, not judge you.
At Fletcher & Fletcher, we know facing these charges on your own can be difficult, but experienced and knowledgeable defense attorneys can meet with a prosecutor about transferring drug charges to help rehabilitate, not punish.
Contact Fletcher & Fletcher Florida Drug Crimes Lawyers Today
The bottom line of any criminal defense case, including drug crimes, is that you deserve to be treated with respect. That’s why our Florida-based lawyers at Fletcher & Fletcher have dedicated our entire careers to criminal defense. As a nonjudgmental team, we help you make informed decisions about your case, and we stand with you to defend your freedom. Start the fight for your rights today, and contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.