Florida reported over 134,000 arrests for illegal drugs in 2018, and 5,404 were juveniles. Controlled substances are against the law in all states because of their addictive nature. Citizens in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, may face stiff penalties for drug abuse and illegal possession.
Overview of Florida drug laws
Data from 2012 shows about 95,000 citizens got arrested on drug charges, which is more than the number of firearm arrests. Florida makes the possession, selling, intent to sell, delivering, and manufacturing of illegal substances against the law. Drug charges in Florida are based on Schedules I to V, which are grouped according to their addiction potential.
Schedule I includes the most addictive substances, such as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, which have no established medical use. Schedule II and III substances, such as cocaine and steroids, can still cause addiction, but they have a limited medical use.
Penalties for selling, drug abuse, and smuggling
Possession of more than 1 gram of any Schedule I substances carries penalties of up to 30 years of jail and a $10,000 fine. The possession of any amount of other substances includes up to a $5,000 fine and five years of jail.
Selling and smuggling drugs often come with stiffer penalties than simple possession and commonly count as a felony. Selling more than 10 grams of Schedule I substances carries penalties of up to 30 years of jail and a $10,000 fine.
Smuggling 28 grams to 200 grams carries a penalty of up to a $25,000 fine and a maximum of three years in jail. The smuggling of 4 to 14 grams of heroin includes penalties of up to three years of prison and a maximum $50,000 fine. Smuggling between 200 and 400 grams of cocaine and up to a seven-year jail sentence and a maximum $100,000 fine.
Enhanced penalties can apply if the defendant got caught near a drug-free zone. Sometimes, first offenders can avoid jail with a plea deal for community service, drug treatment programs, or probation.