Tampa Drug Crime Attorney
While many people and institutions in our society understand that many types of drugs use should be treated as an addiction or mental health issue and not an act of crime, our criminal justice system does not view it that way. Because of our stigma against drugs and the idea that drug use is solely responsible for violent crime and gang activity in impoverished areas, the law is especially strict on those that are caught with even minute amounts of illegal controlled substances. There are five drug schedules under the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The larger the quantity of the illegal substance and the higher it is on the DEA’s ranking system, the higher the punishment that can be expected. Contact our experienced Tampa drug crime attorneys today for more information or assistance.
Schedule I drugs are, according to the DEA, “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” They are also “the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” Drugs that fall under this category include marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, peyote, and LSD.
Schedule II drugs have a “high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.” Some of the drugs that fall under Schedule II are products that have less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dose, cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
Schedule III drugs have a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” They include testosterone, steroids, and substances with fewer than 90 milligrams of codeine per dose.
Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and risk of dependency, and include Valium, Tramadol, Ambien, and Xanax.
Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and dependence, including Robitussin AC, Motofen, and Lomotil.
The specific penalties for each drug vary, and depend largely on the quantity in possession. The state, or federal government, can make the case that the defendant had an intent to sell or distribute if they are in possession of a certain amount of the drug or substance that one person could not reasonably consume. For example, possession of 500 to 4,999 grams of cocaine (a schedule II drug) carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, not to exceed 40 years for a first offense. The sentence is a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of not more than life for a second offense. The same penalties apply to the following substances:
- 40 to 399 grams of Fentanyl;
- 10 to 99 grams of Fentanyl Analogue;
- 100 to 999 grams of heroin;
- Five to 49 grams of pure methamphetamine, or 50 to 499 grams of methamphetamine mixture; and
- 10 to 99 grams of pure PCP or 100 to 999 grams of PCP mixture.
Lower amounts of a controlled substance, such as less than 20 grams of marijuana, are punished to a much lesser degree. For instance, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor and the maximum jail time is one year, according to statutes 893.13, which would still be a very harsh punishment. We can help you minimize or throw out the charges against you. Call the Tampa law offices of Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 to speak with a Tampa Drug Crimes Defense Attorney.