Florida’s Schedule of Controlled Substances: Overview and Examples
Like other US states, violations of Florida’s drug laws are based upon the type and amount of drug, and the criminal activity associated with it. Possession, sale, production, and trafficking are all unlawful for most drugs; the nature of the punishment for a conviction depends on where the drug falls within Florida’s schedule of controlled substance classifications. An overview may be helpful in understanding the charges if you have been arrested.
Controlled substances in this category have a high potential for abuse and no accepted use for treatment within the medical community. Any type of use, even under the supervision of a healthcare professional, does not comply with accepted safety standards. Though Florida has authorized marijuana for medical purposes, this drug is a Schedule I controlled substance. Other examples of Schedule I drugs are heroin, ecstasy, and certain forms of opiates.
This category of controlled substances includes drugs that have a high potential for abuse, but there are certain applications within the medical field that are acceptable; still, a person can only consume Schedule II drugs with severe restrictions and under the supervision of a doctor. Abuse can lead to physical and/or psychological dependence. Cocaine, morphine, and methadone are all Schedule II controlled substances in Florida.
These drugs have a high potential for abuse, but less than those falling in Schedules I and II. There are multiple acceptable uses in treating medical conditions. Tylenol with codeine and anabolic steroids are Schedule III controlled substances.
Controlled substances in this category have a low potential for abuse, and are acceptable for medical use. Examples include Valium, Ambien, Darvocet, and Xanax, which are legal to possess and use with a physician’s prescription. However, sale, trafficking, and production are unlawful.
At the low end of the scheduling scale, Schedule V drugs are not typically associated with abuse. Most are available over-the-counter, but can still lead to physical or psychological dependence. Common crimes associated with Schedule V drugs involve production of other controlled substances, such as manufacturing crystal meth. Cough and cold medicines are on this list, which is why many pharmacies require you to show ID in order to purchase them.
Penalties for Conviction
As you might expect, the most serious drugs on Schedule I can also lead to the most severe punishment. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is a First Degree Misdemeanor, but you could be charged with a First Degree Felony for possession of other controlled substances. This crime carries a penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for a conviction.
For some controlled substances, mandatory minimum sentencing applies. This means that a judge must sentence you to the punishment designated by law, unless there are circumstances to apply downward departure.
You Can Trust a Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested for any type of drug crime, skilled representation is critical. For more information, please contact criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can answer your questions or schedule a confidential consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office.