In Florida, cocaine-related offenses are taken very seriously. The state imposes strict laws and penalties to combat the use and distribution of this controlled substance. Cocaine charges can range from possession to trafficking, each carrying its own set of legal ramifications.
Understanding the nature and severity of cocaine charges is crucial for individuals facing them so they can determine what type of defense strategy to use.
Cocaine possession charges and penalties
Being found in possession of cocaine in Florida can lead to significant legal consequences. The severity of the charge typically depends on the amount of cocaine in possession. Possessing less than 28 grams is considered a third-degree felony. This charge can result in prison, probation, fines or a combination. Even a small amount of cocaine can lead to serious charges because of the state’s zero-tolerance policy towards controlled substances.
Selling cocaine charges and penalties
Selling cocaine in Florida is deemed a more severe offense compared to possession, so the penalties are much more significant than those for possession. It’s categorized as a second-degree felony, punishable by prison or probation and fines. The penalties can increase depending on various factors, such as the proximity of the sale to designated areas like schools or churches. These additional factors can elevate the severity of the punishment.
Trafficking cocaine charges and penalties
Trafficking cocaine is among the most serious drug offenses in Florida. It carries mandatory minimum prison sentences based on the amount of cocaine involved.
The sentencing guidelines state that a person will face these sentences:
- 28 to 200 grams: 3 years in prison and $50,000 fine
- 200 to 400 grams: 7 years in prison and $100,000 fine
- 400 grams to 150 kilograms: 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine
- More than 150 kilograms: Up to life in prison
Anyone facing these charges should ensure they understand precisely what sentencing risks they’re facing because mandatory minimums sometimes apply. Working with someone familiar with these matters may be beneficial so they can develop a defense strategy that will give them the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.