Heroin is tied to a long list of violent crimes, which is why possessing, selling or trafficking this drug is a serious offense. A conviction for these crimes can come with a steep fine and several years in prison. If you are facing heroin-related drug charges, then your first call should be to a criminal defense lawyer.
Fortunately, there are several defense strategies that may work in your favor. A Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney from Leader & Leader, PA can evaluate your charges and aggressively fight for a positive outcome to your case. Call us today at 954-523-2020 to schedule a consultation.
In the meantime, read on to learn the answers to two FAQs about heroin offenses in Florida:
- Is heroin possession a felony?
Heroin is illegal according to both federal and state laws. If Florida police arrest you with heroin in your possession, then you should expect to face felony charges. Several factors, including the amount in your possession, can affect the charges you face and the potential consequences of a conviction.
According to Drug Rehab Florida, there are several benefits of sending first-time offenders to a state-sponsored rehabilitation center and/or drug court programs, and if you are eligible, then you may be able to participate in this program and avoid incarceration. However, if you are a violent or repeat offender, these options may not be available to you. If there is any evidence of selling, dealing, delivering or trafficking, you are also unlikely to be considered for treatment alternatives.
- What are the potential penalties of a heroin-related offense?
Every state has its own guidelines for sentencing heroin-related offenses. If Florida police catch you with less than 4 grams of heroin, then you will face a third-degree felony charge. However, if you possessed more than 4 grams, then you may face charges for trafficking, which is a first-degree felony that comes with much harsher penalties that a simple possession charge.
You will face second-degree felony charges if police catch you actively trying to sell heroin. If the amount was more than 10 grams, then you will face a first-degree felony. If you were near a school or children’s facility at the time of the arrest, then the penalties of a conviction may be worse. Nevertheless, if you are found with 10 grams, they will likely charge you under the trafficking statute for any amount over 4 grams that carries minimum mandatory sentencing. 4 grams or more requires a minimum prison sentence of 3 years and a fine of $50,000.00, 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams requires imprisonment of 15 years and a $100,000.00 fine and anything over 28 grams but less than 30 kilograms requires a mandatory minimum prison term of 25 years and a fine of $500,000.00. See Florida Statute §893.135 regarding the weights, sentences and fines that can classify a mere possession as drug trafficking subjecting you to mandatory felony convictions and prison sentences, even as a first offender with no evidence of selling or buying heroine.
Any drug related conviction can result in a suspension of your driving privileges in Florida for up to a year or longer.
If you are facing heroin charges in Fort Lauderdale, then it is imperative that you consult a Florida criminal attorney who can structure your defense. Leader & Leader, PA is available at 954-523-2020 to evaluate your case and protect your interests.