Florida drug charges can vary from misdemeanor to felony crimes. The degree of crime that you are charged with will depend on the drug you are accused of having. The amount of the drug that you are arrested for possessing will also have a factor on the type of Florida drug charge you will be facing. If you are arrested with a large amount of drugs in Duval County, you could be charged with Jacksonville drug trafficking. Imagine Clay County police officers find over 20 grams of marijuana in you car in Orange Park. They will probably arrest you for felony possession of marijuana based on the constructive possession theory. If you are caught with a pipe or bong in St. Johns County, you will be looking at possession of paraphernalia charges.
When you are accused of possessing a drug without a prescription, you can also be charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Florida. The Florida drug offense will depend on the level that the controlled substance falls under. Jacksonville possession of a controlled substance is a felony under Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a). This Florida drug possession law states:
“(1)(a) Except as authorized by this chapter and chapter 499, it is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance. Any person who violates this provision with respect to:
1. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c)4., commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
2. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)5., (2)(c)6., (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (3), or (4) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
There is another Florida drug law that covers possession of prescription drugs in Jacksonville. You cannot possess prescription drugs without a prescription under Florida Statute 499.003 which states:
(1) A person may not possess, or possess with intent to sell, dispense, or deliver, any habit-forming, toxic, harmful, or new drug subject to s. 499. 003(33), or prescription drug as defined in s. 499.003(43), unless the possession of the drug has been obtained by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe the drug. ”
(43) “Prescription drug” means a prescription, medicinal, or legend drug, including, but not limited to, finished dosage forms or active ingredients subject to, defined by, or described by s. 503(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act2 or s. 465. 003(8), s. 499.007(13), or subsection (11), subsection (46), or subsection (53)
This Florida prescription drug law shows that there is a line between Jacksonville possession of a controlled substance as a felony offense and a misdemeanor offense. In a Florida Second District Court of Appeals case, a felony controlled substance drug charge was reverse, because the trial court misapplied the law. In Wright v. State, the Florida appeals court stated:
” ‘The trial court’s order states that no error occurred, and thus no deficiency on counsel’s part, because ‘penicillin is an amphetamine.’ The order cites section 893.03(2)(c)(2), Florida Statutes (1991), for this premise. This subsection, read in conjunction with section 893.13(1)(a) 2, contains a list of ‘schedule II’ drugs whose possession is a third degree felony. While the list includes the term ‘amphetamine,’ it does not mention penicillin. A separate statute, section 893.13(1)(f), does proscribe the possession of controlled substances without a prescription, but we find no indication that the legislature intended to classify penicillin as a controlled substance. Assuming Wright’s facts are correct, the more appropriate charge would be possession of a medicinal drug without a prescription, pursuant to section 499.03, Florida Statutes (1991). Since this crime is only a misdemeanor, Wright quite obviously would be prejudiced by the entry of a felony conviction based on such conduct.” Wright v. State, 617 So. 2d 857, 858 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993)
If you have been arrested for Jacksonville possession of a controlled substance or another charge, call a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney. A lawyer in Jacksonville at 20 Miles Law can help you if you have been arrested in Nassau, Duval, Clay, and St. Johns County. Contact a Jacksonville criminal lawyer by calling (904) 564-2525 or by email (Contact Us).