In Florida, drug charges are taken very seriously. People can face serious consequences and penalties if they are believed to be in possession of cocaine.
How is cocaine classified?
By law, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug, which makes it one of the most restrictive. As cocaine is a dangerous illegal substance, a person who faces charges of any kind concerning it should take the situation seriously. Cocaine is a drug that is highly addictive and is not used for medical purposes. As a result, a conviction carries serious consequences.
What are the penalties for convictions involving cocaine?
If a person is found to be in possession of at or over 28 grams of cocaine, they can face trafficking charges. This offense is classified as a felony in the first degree. A first-degree felony conviction can result in up to 30 years in prison and a mandatory minimum fine. At the highest punishment level, if a person is found to be trafficking more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and is convicted, they can face life in prison.
For possession of less than 28 grams of cocaine, the crime is classified as a felony in the third degree. Selling cocaine is a second-degree felony, but the charges can be elevated to a felony in the first degree if the selling took place within 1,000 feet of a school, public housing or a house of worship. At the minimum, a second-degree felony for selling cocaine carries a fine of $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
People who receive convictions for possession of cocaine have their license suspended for one year and can face fines of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
Common defenses for cocaine charges
Certain defenses are common in cocaine-related cases. They include the following:
- Lack of knowledge
- No warrant
- Illegal search and seizure
- Mistaken identity
Protecting your rights and freedom is important if you’re facing cocaine charges.