Have you or has someone you know been arrested and charged with a drug-related crime in Florida? If so, it is important for you to have some level of understanding about how the state classifies different drug offenses. Many factors can play into what type of charge a person may ultimately face. Each charge carries with it a specific range of penalties.
What type of action can lead to a criminal charge? According to the Florida Statutes, a person can be charged with manufacturing, distributing or selling an illegal or controlled substance. It is also possible to face criminal charges for simply possessing these substances if law enforcement or prosecutors can allege that you had an intent to manufacture, distribute or sell that substance. These crimes may be second or third degree felonies or first degree misdemeanors.
The type of drug involved is one of the factors that contributes to the severity of a particular charge. Drugs are classified as Schedule I, II, III, IV or V based upon their potential for addiction or abuse as well as any recognized medical benefit. A Schedule I drug has the highest level of addictive or abusive quality with minimal to no medicinal use. A Schedule V drug has the most acknowledged medical use with the least addictive or abusive qualities relative to drugs in the other schedules.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Florida residents an overview of how the state approaches drug crimes and their associated penalties for people who may be convicted of the offenses.