Synthetic Drug Crimes
Jacksonville Lawyers Fighting For Your Rights
Florida laws regulate well-known street drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine, along with prescription medications. In addition, synthetic drugs are also covered under Florida and federal drug laws. Consequently, the possession, sale, or manufacture of synthetic drugs like flakka, spice, MDMA, and others is a criminal offense. If you have been arrested for a synthetic drug crime, a Jacksonville drug crime attorney can assist you. At Ellis and Bryant, we have experience handling felony and misdemeanor drug charges. We can provide defense representation to help you pursue your case.
Synthetic Drug Crimes in Florida
Synthetic drugs, also referred to as designer drugs, are typically produced in illegal labs using man-made chemicals. These drugs are designed to mimic the effects of other illicit drugs, while bypassing classification and detection as a controlled substance. Flakka, spice, and MDMA are just a few of the countless varieties of synthetic drugs that have been developed so far. To avoid state and federal regulation, synthetic drug formulas are altered frequently and new varieties are created.
In 2016, Florida drug laws were amended to criminalize synthetic compounds as well as any derivatives with similar chemical structures. Essentially, the law covers any synthetic drug that is substantially similar to drugs that are already illegal. At one time, however, many synthetic drugs were once legal to sell and buy online or in stores. Phony or deceptive packaging may cause additional confusion, as these drugs are often marketed as plant food, potpourri, bath salts, or other mixtures and sold to people who may not realize they are illegal.
Possession of Synthetic Drugs
It is illegal to possess a controlled substance without legal authorization in Florida. If a police officer finds that you have an illegal synthetic drug, you may be arrested for synthetic drug crimes. The severity of this type of drug possession charge depends on several factors, including the amount and schedule of the particular drug. In Florida, most synthetic drugs are classified as Schedule I controlled substances. Possession of less than three grams of a Schedule I synthetic drug is a first degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a conviction may include jail time or probation for up to one year, a maximum fine of $1,000, license suspension, and other consequences. Possessing three or more grams of a Schedule I synthetic drug is a third degree felony offense. If convicted, a defendant may face up to five years in prison, probation, a $5,000 maximum fine, and other penalties.
Sale, Manufacture, or Delivery of Synthetic Drugs
It is a felony crime in Florida to sell, manufacture, or deliver any amount of an illegal synthetic drug. In addition, it is illegal to possess synthetic drugs with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver them. Trafficking in large quantities of certain synthetic drugs may be charged as a first degree felony offense. A conviction for first degree felony is subject to mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
Defenses that may apply against a synthetic drug charge depend on the specific facts and evidence involved in the case. Lack of intent or knowledge, entrapment, insufficient evidence, or an illegal police search may result in a reduced or dismissed charge. A defense attorney can provide further information after reviewing your case.
Contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney
Synthetic drug charges are serious, but a skilled lawyer can help you present the best defense strategy available in your case. At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville-based lawyers can provide advice and legal representation after a synthetic drug arrest or investigation. We assist individuals facing charges for drug trafficking, gun crimes, DUIs, and other criminal offenses in Clay and Duval Counties, particularly Middleburg, Jacksonville Beach, and Orange Park. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation by calling Ellis and Bryant at (904) 551-4120 or contacting us online.