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How Penalties for Drug Crimes Can be Enhanced

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Any criminal charge or allegation related to possession or distribution of illicit drugs has the potential for harsh legal penalties and consequences. However, some drug charges have more serious penalties associated with them than others.

Florida views drug charges seriously, and, upon conviction, offenders may be saddled with fines, courts costs, and jail time. It is essential that you have experienced legal representation from a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney throughout your criminal case.

Classification of Drugs in Florida

Under Florida law, drugs are classified into five ‘schedules,’ or categories, based on certain factors. These factors include the potential for abuse and whether or not there is an acceptable medical use for the drug, such as with marijuana.

Increased Criminal Charges

Drug charges may be enhanced or tacked on to an existing case based upon one or more of the following factors:

  • The amount and type of the drug at issue
  • The location of the defendant’s arrest
  • The criminal history of the individual arrested (especially a criminal history which includes prior drug charges)
  • The amount of drugs the accused had in his or her possession (i.e. smaller quantities equal fewer charges; larger quantities equal greater charges)

With regard to amount, if the State can prove that the defendant has a large amount of drugs or cash in his or her possession, the defendant could ultimately be charged with both drug trafficking and drug possession. Also, an individual with a history of prior drug arrests and/or convictions will probably be charged differently (and more harshly) than a first-time offender.

With regard to location, an individual could be charged with a first degree felony (as opposed to a second degree felony) if he or she sold drugs to minors in public areas, such as on school property, or at a public park or community center, as opposed to other places.

Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

An experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer will be able to review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and can potentially assist you with having your case dismissed or reaching a plea deal to reduce your charges. The St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys are available for free case evaluations. To schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-269-5300 or contact us online.

1 https://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/

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