No-Nonsense Drug Crime Lawyers in Jacksonville Have Your Back
The drug war is a failure. In the attempt to reduce the alleged drug problem in this country, lawmakers have created incredibly stringent rules overly harsh penalties. In almost any drug crime conviction, the accused faces possible incarceration in county jail or state prison, a driver license revocation, and hefty fines. But if you are accused of a drug crime in Jacksonville, you can trust Shafer Law, P.A. to aggressively defend your rights. We’ve worked with clients facing charges from designer drugs to illegal narcotics to prescription medication. Our drug crime lawyers in Jacksonville have handled thousands of criminal cases in state and federal court.
Florida’s schedule of drugs
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, § 893 of the Florida Statutes, places controlled substances in five different categories, or “schedules”, based on their potential for abuse, their addictive nature, and their role, if any, in accepted medical practice.
- Schedule I — These drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. They include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), magic mushrooms, mescaline, MDMA, ecstasy, and GHB.
- Schedule II — These drugs have a high potential for abuse and severely restricted medical use, including cocaine, methamphetamine, raw opium, methadone, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and Oxycodone.
- Schedule III — These drugs have a lower potential for abuse, have a currently accepted medical use, and some potential for dependence. Substances include anabolic steroids and drugs containing codeine and hydrocodone.
- Schedule IV — These substances have a low potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use, and a low potential for physical or psychological dependence. Substances include prescription drugs such as Diazepam, Valium, Alprazolam, and Xanax.
- Schedule V — These compounds have a low potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use, and limited potential for physical or psychological dependence. They include drugs containing low levels of codeine, dihydrocodeine, and ethylmorphine.
The proliferation in recent years of synthetic drugs, commonly called bath salts, has prompted the Florida legislature to amend § 893 to include salts, isomers, and salts of isomers derived from a controlled substance. These are treated as Schedule I drugs, and include:
- Bath salts — These are recreational designer drugs that have a psychoactive effect.
- Flakka — The bath salt alpha-PVP, known as flakka, began entering Florida from China in 2014 and was linked to 63 deaths in Broward County in 2015. Chinese officials shut down production in November 2015, under pressure from U.S. diplomats, so the product is no longer readily available.
- Synthetic cannabis — Known as spice or K2, this manufactured substance is said to mimic the effects of marijuana, but may be very dangerous, especially with prolonged use. Created to circumvent laws against marijuana, this class of drugs is now illegal throughout much of the world.
Possession of less than three grams of a synthetic is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by up to one year in jail. Possession of more than three grams is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison.
Florida laws severely punish defendants for illicit drugs
The charges we deal with frequently at our firm include alleged violations of:
- Florida Statute § 893.13(1) — Possession with Intent to Sell
- Florida Statute § 893.13(1) — Drug manufacturing
- Florida Statute § 893.13(1) or (5) — Drug trafficking
- Florida Statute § 893.13(6) — Possession of a controlled substance
Penalties for drug offenses depend on the amount and type of the drug; under Florida law, penalties can include:
- Misdemeanor of the second degree — Not more than 60 days in jail and/or a fine not more than $500
- Misdemeanor of the first degree — Potential jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $1,000
- Felony of the third degree — Potential prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000
- Felony of the second degree — Potential prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000
- Felony of the first degree — Potential prison sentence not more than 30 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000
- Life felony — Potential prison sentence up to 30 years or life and/or a fine not more than $15,000
- Trafficking — Any illegal substance carries a potential 30-year prison sentence. There are also minimum mandatory prison requirements depending on the quantity of any particular substance.
Florida drug offense laws are severe and antiquated, and we relish the opportunity to defend you from them in court. At Shafer Law, P.A., our criminal law attorneys are dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.
Schedule your free initial consultation on a drug crime charge
Your future matters to us. The Jacksonville criminal law firm of Shafer Law, P.A. represents and defends clients charged with federal and state drug crimes. Each criminal defense lawyer at our firm can improve your chances in a court of law. Call us for an initial consultation at 904-450-5872 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located on North Pearl Street, across the street from the Duval County Courthouse.