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Heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled under Florida Statute § 893.03(1)(b), meaning it has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Thus, any person who is arrested for an offense involving heroin is likely to face extremely serious criminal charges.
Possession, sale, or trafficking of heroin may result in federal charges, but even state charges in Florida can have severe consequences. Regardless of the specific venue in which an alleged offender will be tried, prosecutors will attempt to seek very stiff penalties in these types of cases.
If you were arrested for any type of heroin crime, you need to immediately get the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Pumphrey Law is licensed in all Florida state courts as well as United States District Courts for the Northern District and Middle District of Florida.
Our firm represents clients in the greater Tallahassee as well as many nearby communities, including Bristol, Apalachicola, Port St. Joe, Carrabelle, Wewahitchka, and Chipley. Call (850) 681-7777 right now to set up a free, confidential consultation that will let us review your case to see how we can help.
There are multiple types of state charges that an alleged offender can face for a heroin-related crime. Criminal offenses involving federal agents, large amounts of heroin, or crimes committed on federal property can result in federal charges.
Most drug offenses in Florida are handled in state courts. The different types of charges could include any of the following:
Simple possession of less than 10 grams of heroin is classified under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) as a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If an alleged offender is charged with possession of 10 grams or more of heroin, then the crime is classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Under Florida law, there are two types of possession that an alleged offender may be charged with:
If an alleged offender is accused of one of these crimes with less than 10 grams of heroin, this offense is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the alleged offense involved 10 grams or more of heroin, then this is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
It is important to understand exactly how the terms related to these charges are defined in Florida:
Trafficking is one of the more common federal charges, but state charges in Florida are determined by the amount of heroin involved. Heroin trafficking is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, but the amount involved can result in increased mandatory minimum sentences and fines:
Numerous locations in Florida are considered protected areas that are often referred to as “drug-free zones” (DFZs). An alleged offender is subject to increased penalties that may include mandatory minimum sentences, longer maximum sentences, or elevated felony charges.
Some of the DFZs listed in the Florida Statutes include selling, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver heroin in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the following locations:
While an arrest for any heroin-related crime can be very intimidating, an alleged offender may be able to utilize one or more of several defenses in these cases. For example, Florida Statute § 893.21 states that a person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance or a person is who is acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose cannot be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession of heroin if the evidence for possession of heroin was obtained as a result of the person’s seeking medical assistance or overdose and the need for medical assistance.
Some other possible defenses can include, but are not limited to:
Were you arrested for any sort of heroin-related crime in Northern Florida? Pumphrey Law aggressively defends clients against both state and federal charges, and our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome with the fewest possible consequences in these cases.
We provide legal representation for residents of Tallahassee and surrounding communities in Leon County in addition to nearby areas in Liberty County, Franklin County, Gulf County, Washington County, and more. Our firm can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free legal consultation.
This article was last updated on August 5, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.
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