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Were you charged with a heroin crime?

Getting involved with heroin is dangerous business. Those who use and abuse the drug could face devastating consequences that affect their health, their career and their family life. They could also face serious consequences with the law.

Given the strictness of state and federal laws that apply to heroin-related crimes, those accused of such offenses need to handle their criminal defenses carefully. They also need to educate themselves on the penalties associated with heroin crimes.

What you should know about heroin penalties in Florida

Florida lawmakers know that heroin addiction is hard on users of the drug, and that it's the rare person who can wrestle themselves free of this addiction without professional assistance. For this reason, the law takes a more lenient approach toward first-time heroin possession offenders. In many districts, special drug courts are available to try cases that involve people with addiction problems. These programs could offer those convicted of drug offenses the option of attending a treatment and therapy program instead of going to jail.

Heroin-related crimes fall under the control of the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Here's what this act states in terms of heroin offenses:

  • Heroin possession (small amounts): This is a 3rd-degree felony that can result in up to $5,000 in fines, drivers' license suspension and five years in prison.
  • Heroin delivery, manufacturing or sales (small amounts): This is a 2nd-degree felony with a maximum of 15 years of prison time, 15 years of probation and $10,000 in fines. Convicted persons will also suffer a drivers' license suspension.
  • Heroin trafficking (4-14 grams): This involves the sale, manufacture, purchase or delivery of between four and 14 grams of heroin and/or related compounds. Those convicted of this offense face minimum penalties of three years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
  • Heroin trafficking (14-28 grams): Those convicted of this offense face penalties of 15 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
  • Heroin trafficking (.028-30 kilograms): Those convicted of this offense face 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
  • Heroin trafficking (30-plus kilograms): Those convicted of this offense face life in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Handle your criminal defense carefully

A carefully-crafted criminal defense against heroin charges must incorporate a high-level understanding of Florida drug law. Defendants need to understand the chances of conviction and the penalties they could face in the event of a conviction before they decide whether they should plead "not guilty" or attempt to reach a plea deal with the prosecution.

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