Florida’s Drug Schedules: What You Need to Know
Across the country, controlled substances can fall under one of five distinct categories based on their effects and potential for abuse. These categories are known as schedules, and you will need to understand their importance if you are arrested for drug possession or trafficking as they will usually determine the types of penalties you might face.
For instance, if you were arrested with “Schedule V” drugs in your possession such as painkillers or cough suppressants, you will typically receive less serious punishments than had you been caught with “Schedule I” substances like LSD or Heroin. However, the schedule of a particular drug is just one of many factors that can influence the way your case unfolds.
How Do Drug Schedules Affect My Penalties?
Controlled substances descend from Schedule V—for drugs with relatively minor effects and a low potential for abuse—to Schedule I. Drugs in this final category have been determined to have the highest potential for abuse or addiction and, at this moment, have no currently accepted medical use in the state. (While marijuana is prescribed in some situations, this drug is an exception as it is still considered a “Schedule I” substance.)
The kind of substance in your possession will affect the penalties you might receive. However, this isn’t the only factor a judge might consider. They may also look at both the amount you were carrying and whether there were signs that you intended to sell a particular drug.
For example, if you were caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana, you could face up to a year behind bars and may have to pay fines of up to $1,000. However, if you were carrying more than 10 grams of heroin your charges could be elevated to a first-degree felony and you may have to spend up to 30 years in jail and pay fines of up to $10,000.
However, just because you were arrested doesn’t mean a conviction is inevitable. You will have a chance to defend yourself against the charges and—with a strong defense—you may be able to get the penalties reduced or even have your case dismissed. As such, it might be wise to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you build your defense. Not only can they investigate the arrest and gather the necessary evidence to attack the prosecution’s case, but they can also represent you throughout proceedings.
Discuss Your Case with a Palm Beach Gardens Drug Crime Lawyer
If you’re facing drug charges, you already know there’s a lot at stake. A conviction won’t just result in serious penalties but will also leave a permanent black mark on your criminal record, affecting many different aspects of your life for years to come.
Attorney Todd A. Kawecki is ready to step in to help. He can review your case as part of a free consultation and discuss the strategies he might use to help you fight the charges. Call us today at 772-485-4500 or head over to our Contact Page to request a consultation with a Florida drug crime lawyer.