The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Where are drug charges considered more serious?

No one in Naples ever wants to face the prospect of being convicted on drug charges, yet if you do happen to be arrested for a drug offense, you want to ensure that you are only charged with that which is directly applicable to your alleged actions. Law enforcement authorities will often look for aggravating factors in a case that seemingly make it more serious. This may simply be a way to embellish the drug charges against you in order to strengthen their case. Thus, you should be wary of any attempts to do this against you and how you might be able to challenge them. 

The state views the seriousness of a drug offense from the context in which it allegedly occurred. For example, an arrest for possession of a controlled substance may only result in a misdemeanor offense. However, according to Section 893.13 of Florida's state statutes, the charges you face may become more serious if you are accused of selling, manufacturing or possessing with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of any of the following locations: 

  • A public or private college, university or postsecondary educational institution
  • A location where a church routinely conducts its religious services 
  • A public housing facility 
  • An assisted living facility 
  • A grocery store or gas station

The reasoning behind the harsher penalties associated with offenses related to these locations is that they increase the chances of "at risk" individuals to be exposed to potential criminal activity. 

Primary and secondary schools, as well as day care centers, are also typically listed amongst those locations where offenses committed are considered more serious. The only exception would be a day facility that does not have signs indicating its status as such a facility. 

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