Overview On Drug Laws In Florida


More than a hundred years ago, almost drugs can be freely used for medicinal purposes. However, starting 1900 the first drug laws were created. These federal laws came together in 1970 with the “Controlled Substances Act (CSA)” under Title 11 of the “Law on Prevention and Control of Drugs” in the United States Constitution, where all federal drug charges were coded in one system and are broken down into five categories.

Seeding, possession and drug trafficking belong to a category and therefore have federal sentences for drug offenses independently.

In most states of the United States, this law is used to convict drug crimes. For example, in Florida people who commit minor drug crimes and have no criminal record at the time of his arrest under police drug possession charge can be sentenced to just probation.

In 2000 some changes were made regarding penalties for possession of drugs such as methamphetamine. From 2004 the Supreme Court requires that under the Constitution of the country’s different sentencing guidelines need to have a well-founded process before taking the life of someone or deprive them of liberty.

What Are The Types Of Drug Offenses In Florida?

Drug offenses can be classified as severe crimes or misdemeanors depending on the kind of offense in which incurred in Florida. The penalty also varies depending on the severity of the offense.

  • Possession of controlled substances.
  • Possessing drugs with an attempt to distribute them.
  • Sale of controlled substances.
  • Cultivation and processing the drugs. Cultivation and processing of controlled substance in one’s residence are also an offense.
  • Drug trafficking
  • Possession of controlled substance “Paraphernalia.”
  • Fraud prescription to purchase certain drugs.
  • Launder money obtained from selling drugs.

How Sentencing For Drug Trafficking In Florida?

It is understood that the drug trafficking portion of controlled substances are intended for sale and is considered a serious offense that can cause severe sentences. Currently, drug trafficking has become a global problem which links several categories of crimes such as cultivation, distribution, and sales of illegal substances. Among the types of drugs, one of the most commonly used is marijuana and trafficking of this illegal substance in Florida are also considered a criminal offense. The state of Florida has become frequently used for drug trafficking between Latin America and the Caribbean and the United States point, due to a large number of ports. The state also has lands that can be used for cultivation of marijuana and therefore illegal trafficking of this plant.

Florida has very strict drug-related laws and penalties can be quite severe, depending on the type of drug and some drugs being trafficked. For example, when an individual is accused of illegal drug trafficking and had other serious criminal record and has caused death to others with drug trafficking, this defendant can be sentenced to death penalty. However, drug trafficking using minors makes this a major crime alone and is considered a significant extent about drug trafficking. Drug trafficking in schools or under 18 years old can be sentenced to death. Likewise, those who use children for illegal trafficking of controlled substances may also prove to be sentenced to death.

Initial Steps In Sealing Or Expunging Criminal Record

Having a criminal record might significantly limit your opportunities. In Florida, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you have your record sealed or expunged. Florida law establishes criteria to be met to have a record sealed or expunged. If you are eligible and having your criminal records sealed or expunged will benefit you because your files will then be confidential and will not be disclosed during a routine background check, often carried out by prospective employers and creditors. You should be aware, however, that there are several limitations on the confidentiality of documents sealed or removed. For example, although your criminal record is sealed or expunged, you can not deny or fail to recognize criminal conviction in any criminal proceedings in the future, or if you will apply for employment with federal or state agencies. Also, a copy of your registration will still be kept and subject to review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

If you were arrested, but charges against you were later dropped, the fact of your detention and the nature of the charges are also part of the public domain, even if you were not convicted at trial. If you qualify, all records of this type can be sealed or canceled.

A sealed document is not available for public government agencies, but some still have access to information. If a record is deleted, the file access is further limited, and entities who wish access to a sealed record would need to secure a court order to access the registry.

A person seeking to have a record of criminal record sealed or deleted in Florida should apply to the FDLE Certificate of Eligibility. You can get a package for this application from the Clerk of Courts in your county. Before doing this, you may want to get a copy of your criminal record to check the accuracy. You can dispute any information in your file that is inaccurate or incomplete. FDLE will then review your application and determine if you meet the criteria established by law. FDLE determines if registration is eligible to be sealed or expunged, you will receive a letter of approval from the FDLE.

NOTE: This authorization does not seal or expunge your record. It’s just proof that the record meets the criteria established by law. You still have to file a petition in court in the county where you were arrested, and the court must grant the request.

What would keep my record of being sealed or expunged?

As a general starting point, you are eligible if you have never been convicted of a crime as an adult and have not previously had the record sealed or expunged. Additional rules governing the records of minors. You should not currently be under any form of court supervision (probation, parole). Several other circumstances can cause you to lose the right. For example, Florida law states that there are some offenses are not eligible for sealing or deletion. You should discuss the particular details of your case with an attorney experienced in criminal defense to determine if your case is eligible.

Find out the basic drug laws in Florida in this article.