The state of Florida takes drug crimes very seriously, with laws providing for significant punishment for anyone caught using, manufacturing or selling controlled substances. The penalties for drug offenses in Florida vary greatly by the type and amount of drug involved. There are five categories of controlled substances in Florida, which are grouped based on the dangerousness of the drug and its potential for addiction:
- Schedule I: these drugs have a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical use. Drugs in this category include heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.
- Schedule II: the substances in this category have a high potential for abuse, but may be used in a medical setting in a severely restricted way. This category includes opiates (such as morphine) and methamphetamine.
- Schedule III: drugs in this category have the potential to be abused and an accepted medical use. It includes substances such as anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV: this category is for substances that have a low potential for abuse and accepted medical uses. Drugs in this category may include medications used to treat anxiety, sleep or depression.
- Schedule V: drugs in this group have a very low potential for abuse and accepted medical uses. Drugs in this category include cough medications with low levels of codeine.
Penalties for drug possession, manufacture and sale range from one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A conviction for a drug-related offense can have many additional consequences, such as losing your job, being denied government benefits, including student loans and housing, and even losing your right to vote.
The potential repercussions for a drug offense in Florida make it incredibly important that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. A tenacious lawyer can help to negotiate a deal to have the charges reduced or dismissed, or take the case to trial to protect your freedom.
In Florida and across the country, new laws have been enacted to criminalize using technology to commit crimes. These laws cover a number of different potential crimes, including:
- Child Pornography: it is a crime to make, store, receive or distribute child pornography.
- Online Child Solicitation: this crime involves using a computer to ask a child for sex.
- Identify Theft: using the internet to steal personal identification or financial information is an offense.
- Internet Fraud: this covers everything from email scams to defrauding people on auction or sale sites like eBay and Craigslist
- Hacking: it is a crime to “break into” another person’s computer or accounts without permission, or to use a virus to prevent a person from using their computer
There are a number of potential defenses to internet offenses, including that someone else used your computer or internet, or that the police illegally obtained the evidence. A seasoned Tallahassee criminal defense attorney can explore options to defend against these charges, which may be brought at either the federal or state level. If you have been arrested for an internet offense, it is critical that you contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.