Drug crimes can have severe penalties in the United States, and this is particularly true of Florida, which has some of the strictest controlled substance laws in the country. This is due to a large number of drug-related crimes and deaths in the state, as well as the proximity of the state to Mexico, where it is perfectly located to make up part of drug smuggling routes into the U.S.
For this reason, if you are facing legal charges for drug crimes in Florida, then you should seriously consider seeking legal representation from a criminal defense lawyer. A drug conviction could affect you and your family for the rest of your life, not to mention the penalties of years in jail and fines that you could be facing. For a large-scale drug manufacturing operation, you could even be facing capital felony charges.
Here at The Law Place, we understand how stressful this type of situation can be, but we are here to help. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience in cases just like yours and has helped many clients to get the drug charges against them reduced or even dropped. Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. They can provide free advice regarding your charges in Florida and help to guide you on your next steps in the legal process. If you decide to work with us beyond the initial consultation, then an experienced criminal defense lawyer will create a strong defense strategy and support you throughout the rest of the legal proceedings.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so call us today for some free no-obligation legal advice.
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The Definition of Manufacturing Controlled Substances According to Florida Law
The full details of the laws in Florida regarding drug possession, possession with intent to supply, possession with intent to sell, and the manufacturing of controlled substances can be found under Florida Statute 893.13.
The laws and penalties associated with controlled substance manufacturing apply to anyone in Fort Myers who has been caught making any type of contribution, directly or indirectly, to the drug manufacturing process. According to The Florida Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, this includes:
- The growth of controlled substances.
- The sale of controlled substances.
- The cultivation of controlled substances.
- The processing of controlled substances.
- The converting of controlled substances.
- The compounding of controlled substances.
- The preparation of controlled substances.
- The manufacturing of controlled substances.
- The packaging, repackaging, or relabelling of controlled substances.
Under this statute, you could even be charged for attempting to sell or being in possession of specialist equipment or chemicals that are commonly associated with the drug manufacturing process.
For advice on your specific case and for free legal advice regarding your drug charges in Fort Myers, call The Law Place today.
Penalties for Manufacturing Illicit Drugs in Fort Myers, FL.
The drug laws in Florida are complex, and the penalties you could be facing for the manufacturing of controlled substances in Fort Myers will depend on the specifics of your case, such as the schedule of the illegal drug and the amount of drugs found in your possession. It is also possible that you could be charged with other drug crimes, such as drug possession with intent to sell or drug trafficking. For this reason, we highly recommend that you seek the help of a reputable law firm with experienced criminal defense lawyers who can help you navigate the murky waters of Florida’s drug laws and help you to build a strong defense.
Florida’s Drug Schedules
In the State of Florida, different drugs are categorized under different ‘schedules’ according to their potential for abuse and harm, and different penalties are associated with drug crimes related to these different rankings. Drugs categorized as Schedule I are considered to have the highest potential risk of addiction and harm, such that anyone caught in possession of these drugs will face the most severe drug crime penalties. If a person is caught in possession of or manufacturing a Schedule V drug, on the other hand, the penalties are less severe as these substances are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse and addiction. Some of the more common illegal substances and their associated schedules are shown below. For a full list of Florida’s drug schedules, consult Florida Statute 893.03.
- Schedule I substances – These substances are considered to have the highest potential for harm, addiction, and abuse. They have no accepted medical value. These include crack cocaine, heroin, and
- Schedule II substances – These substances are considered to come with a reasonable risk of harm, addiction, and abuse. However, unlike Schedule I drugs, they have some accepted, highly controlled medical uses. They include OxyContin, cocaine, and methadone.
- Schedule III substances – The substances listed here are considered to have some risk for addiction and abuse, but less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. They also have some accepted, controlled medical uses. They include steroids and
- Schedule IV substances – These substances are considered to have the second-lowest potential risk for harm, addiction, and abuse. As prescription drugs, they have accepted medical use and so are legal so long as they were prescribed by a licensed doctor. Examples include Xanax and
- Schedule V substances – These substances are considered to have the lowest potential risk of harm, addiction, and abuse. These drugs are prescribed frequently by medical professionals and include Lyrica and Motfen.
Because it is very easy to produce, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly manufactured illegal drugs in Florida. The manufacture of methamphetamine is a first-degree felony in Florida, where the punishment will depend on the amount of the substance found:
- Between 14 and 27 grams – A fine of up to $50,000 and a 3-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Between 28 and 199 grams – A fine of up to $100,000 and a 7-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
- Between 200 and 399 grams – A fine of up to $250,000 and a 15-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
It is also common for cocaine to be manufactured and sold in Florida. Possession with intent to sell or manufacture cocaine will also depend on the amount of the substance found:
- Between 28 and 199 grams – A fine of up to $50,000 and a 3-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Between 200 and 399 grams – A fine of up to $100,000 and a 7-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
- Between 400 grams and 150 kilograms – A fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 15 years.
Although the legal, medical use of marijuana is becoming more widespread, the recreational use of this substance is still illegal in Florida. If you are caught cultivating cannabis without a license, then you will likely face drug manufacture or drug trafficking charges. This is associated with a first-degree felony, and the penalty will depend on the amount of the substance found:
- Between 25 and 1,000 pounds – A fine of up to $50,000 and a 3-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Between 2,000 and 9,999 pounds – A fine of up to $50,000 and a 7-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Over 10,000 pounds – A fine of up to $200,000 and a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Florida law enforcement agencies and the justice system take a very serious stance against heroin, particularly due to the large number of lives that have been lost to heroin overdoses. Being caught manufacturing heroin will result in a first-degree felony and varying penalties:
- Between 4 and 13 grams –A fine of up to $50,000 and a minimum of 3 years in prison.
- Between 14 and 27 grams – A fine of up to $100,000 and a 15-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
- Between 28 grams and 29 kilograms – A fine of up to $250,000 and a minimum of 25 years in prison.
No matter the type of drug, if you are facing drug manufacturing charges in Fort Myers then you will need a criminal defense attorney to give you the best chance of reducing the drug charges against you. Contact us today to arrange a free case evaluation with a defense attorney experienced in drug-related practice areas.
Establishing Guilt in a Fort Myers Manufacture of Illegal Drugs Case
In the State of Florida, before you can be found guilty for the manufacture of illegal substances with intent to sell:
- The law enforcement officers who arrested you must have had reasonable grounds to do so
- The prosecution has the ‘burden of proof,’ meaning that they must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
There are several key factors that are considered by law enforcement when trying to establish whether the defendant was manufacturing an illegal drug with intent to sell. Only then can they obtain a warrant for the defendant’s arrest in Florida. Evidence that can be used to charge a person with drug manufacturing includes:
- An excessive quantity of drugs being found in the individual’s possession (where such a large amount of drugs is enough to assume intent to sell).
- A large amount of cash found in the individual’s possession, for example, in their clothes, in their home, or in a vehicle parked reasonably close to the drugs’ location.
- Drug manufacturing equipment being found close to the location of the drugs.
- Finding drug paraphernalia such as scales, balances, rolling papers, or testing kits on an individual’s person, in their home, or in their vehicle.
- Finding weapons in the individual’s possession that are suspected to be used or to have been used to commit a drug-related crime.
- If a person associated with the manufacture of drugs had informed a law enforcement officer about the operation and the intent to sell.
If your case of drug manufacturing with intent to sell goes to court, then the prosecutor has the burden of proof. This means that the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond any reasonable doubt before they can convict you of this drug crime:
- That the defendant was clearly in possession of the specified controlled substance and that this individual had manufactured or intended to manufacture the illegal drug with the clear intent to sell this drug.
- That the drug in the individual’s possession was one of the substances listed in Florida Statute 893.03.
- That the defendant was fully aware that the substance in question was illegal.
Our criminal defense attorneys have plenty of experience with these types of drug cases and have used various defense strategies to help contest these elements so that the prosecution is unable to prove that the client was guilty of drug manufacturing with intent to sell beyond any reasonable doubt. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can start to build your defense.
Defenses Available in a Manufacture With an Intent to Sell Case
It is not always easy for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was manufacturing an illegal substance with the intent to sell, which is required for the defendant to be charged. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know the Florida drug laws and prosecution techniques well enough to construct a strong defense. Our attorneys have helped many clients to reduce the drug charges against them, including drug possession cases and possession with the intent to sell.
Some common defenses that have been successful in contesting charges for drug crimes include:
- Asserting that the law enforcement officers responsible for the arrest had collected evidence in an unlawful manner.
- Asserting that the amount of the substance the defendant was accused of manufacturing was incorrect and that the amount did not, in fact, meet the minimum required for the associated penalties.
- Asserting that the defendant had been incorrectly identified as the person actually guilty of the illegal drug manufacture.
- Asserting that the evidence in question, such as drugs, chemicals, or manufacturing equipment, does not actually belong to the defendant.
- Asserting that the law enforcement offers engages in entrapment, making the arrest unlawful
If you have been accused of the manufacture of a controlled substance in Florida, or another drug crime such as drug possession, drug trafficking, or possession with the intent to distribute, then you shouldn’t face these drug charges alone. We offer a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney who can answer any questions you have and offer free legal advice.
Contact The Law Place Today
Facing drug charges in Florida can be intimidating, but we are here to help. With over 75 years of combined experience, our criminal defense lawyers have helped many clients accused of drug crimes and helped to reduce the charges against them. In a free consultation with one of our defense attorneys, they will go through the details of your case with you and give you an idea of the defense strategy they might put forward. If you decide to continue working with us after that, we will explain the fee structure upfront so that there are no nasty surprises down the road. Your allocated defense attorney will take your case from there, being your point of support and contact throughout, building your defense strategy, and defending you in court if needed.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Florida, now is the time to take back control of your life. Call us today for a free case evaluation.