Cocaine is a stimulant commonly made into a powder from the coca plant. Since it is highly addictive, it is classified as a controlled substance. A resident of Florida can face harsh penalties for buying, possessing or selling cocaine.
Florida cocaine law overview
Controlled substances in Florida are based on five penalty groups, Schedules I to V, based on each drug’s medical benefits and risk of addiction. Schedule I substances, such as ecstasy and LSD, rank high for addiction risk and have no accepted medical use.
Cocaine is listed under Schedule II substances along with fentanyl, which are still highly addictive but have restricted medical use. Schedules III to V have low to moderate addiction risk and include many prescription medications and substances with codeine. If a driver in control of the vehicle is impaired on these substances, they may get charged with a drug DUI.
Florida law recognizes several drug charges with varying degrees of felonies including possession, selling, manufacturing, buying and trafficking. The severity of the penalties is based on the weight of the drug and not the amount of pure cocaine. A first-offense cocaine possession charge is a third-degree felony that includes penalties of up to a $5,000 fine and five years of jail.
Selling cocaine is a second-degree felony with penalties of up to 15 years of jail, 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine. Getting caught selling near a school, park or other drug-free zone will probably increase the fines and jail time. Possession of 28 grams or more may count as a trafficking offense carrying penalties of three years of jail and a $50,000 fine.
Cocaine charges can include license suspension and make employment difficult. However, the prosecution must prove guilt, and officers sometimes make mistakes that prevent a conviction. It may be possible for first offenders to get probation or drug court.