Florida’s Heroin Problem Leads to Harsh Punishments for Possession of the Drug
Possession of heroin is a serious offense in any state, but considering Florida’s history with drug crime and the violence that comes with it, Florida has cracked down on heroin possession – and the possession of any illicit substance, for that matter – in recent years.
Believed to be because of its close proximity to Mexico, Florida has really struggled with heroin addiction in recent years. Some counties have seen a 100-200 percent increase in heroin deaths in the past year, while the state as a whole has seen a 900 percent increase in deaths caused by the drug. While officials in Washington are determined to find the cause of the problem and eliminate it, Florida officials have cracked down on their heroin laws in hopes to discourage present and potential users.
Federal and State Laws Regulating Heroin Use and Possession
Heroin is one of those narcotics that remain illegal under both federal and state law. In Florida, the possession of heroin is a felony and is punished as such; for traffickers and dealers, the punishments are even more severe. However, for first time offenders, Florida does grant some leniency in the way of offering the individuals with a chance at drug treatment instead of prison.
Florida laws regarding heroin use, possession, manufacturing, and the like can be found under Florida Statute 893.13, and the penalties for drug use found under Florida Statute 775.082. For convenience’s sake, however, below is a breakdown of Florida heroin laws:
- Possession of less than 10 grams without the intent to sell is charged as a second degree felony (893.13, Subsection 1), and is punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;
- The sale, delivery, or manufacturing, or intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture in excess of 10 grams with the intent to sell is charged as a first degree felony (893.13, Subsection 3(b)), and is punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;
- The possession, sale, delivery, or manufacturing, or intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility is charged as a first degree felony (893.13, Subsection 3(c)1), and is punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment of three years, and as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Your Defense to Heroin Possession in Florida
While heroin possession is a very serious offense in Florida, there are defenses you can use to either reduce your charges or have them dismissed altogether. Some defenses to heroin possession charges include:
- Suppression of evidence if police seized the drugs in an illegal search and seizure maneuver;
- Advocating for drug rehabilitation in exchange for leniency in sentencing;
- Claiming that the drugs are not yours and were either someone else’s, or that they were planted on your property;
- Sending the drugs to a lab for analysis in order to disprove that the substance in question is an illegal drug;
- Claiming that the officers who discovered the drugs are guilty of entrapment; or
- Claiming missing drugs if the prosecutors do not have the actual drug in question present at the time of trial.
Consult a Miami Drug Crimes Lawyer
At The Baez Law Firm, our Miami drug crimes lawyers have extensive experience in handling drug possession cases, and have helped countless clients have their charges reduced or dropped entirely. If you have been charged with heroin possession in Florida, contact our Miami drug crimes lawyers at 305-999-5100 to schedule a free consultation today.