Penalties for Methamphetamine Related Crimes in Florida
Florida has some of the toughest penalties for drug crimes in the United States, but methamphetamine abuse and addiction continues to affect the population to an alarming degree. Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its “high potential for abuse” that often leads to dependence. Find out how a criminal drug charge for meth can impact your future.
Possession of a controlled substance (including methamphetamine) without a prescription is a 3rd degree felony. In Florida, a 3rd degree felony can carry up to 5 years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. This is the penalty for possession of an amount consistent with personal use. If this is your first offense, you may be able to negotiate a more lenient sentence with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Any amount less than 14 grams is considered personal use in Florida. If you are caught with more than 14 grams of meth, you will face more serious charges.
Precursor Possession and Manufacturing
If you are caught with an essential chemical or precursor necessary to manufacture methamphetamine, and intend to manufacture meth (or distribute it to someone who intends to manufacture meth), you will be charged with a 2nd degree felony. The maximum penalty for a 2nd degree felony is a 15-year prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000.
If you are manufacturing methamphetamine, and/or possessing precursors in a residence with a child under the age of 16, the charge becomes a 1st degree felony. This charge carries a mandatory minimum 5-year prison sentence. When a child is seriously harmed as a result of your actions, the mandatory prison sentence will be a minimum of 10 years. The maximum penalty for a 1st degree felony is up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine as high as $10,000.
Purchasing, possessing, distributing, delivering, or selling more than 14 grams of methamphetamine is a 1st degree felony. The penalties for these charges are as follows:
- 14-27 grams of meth- a mandatory minimum $50,000 fine and a minimum sentence of three years in prison
- 28-199 grams of meth- a mandatory minimum $100,000 fine and at least seven years in prison
- 200 or more grams of meth- a $250,000 minimum fine and 15 years or more in prison
In addition to the state mandated penalties, a felony drug conviction can lead to other serious and lifelong negative consequences. Any felony conviction will appear on a background check frequently run by employers and educational institutions for at least seven years. Employment options are extremely limited for felons. You will lose your right to vote and possess a firearm. Your driver’s license will likely be suspended for one year, although the judge may allow you to drive on a restricted license to work or school. You may also experience difficulty obtaining housing and government assistance.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A methamphetamine-related charge is a serious offense, but there may be defenses available to you. If you were recently charged with possession, manufacture, trafficking or other meth-related crime, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Former prosecutor Deric Zacca will fight for the best possible results in your case. Call us today at (954) 379-2238.