Fort Lauderdale Cocaine Defense Attorney
Cocaine is classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule II Drug, lower than marijuana, heroin, and ecstasy. According to the DEA, it is in the same classification as Vicodin, (hydrocodone), Dexedrine, methamphetamine, methadone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, Demerol, meperidine, OxyContin (oxycodone), Ritalin, and Adderall. Because of the addictiveness of cocaine and these other drugs, and the risk of severe physical health adversities, Schedule II drugs are punishable with the severity of felonies. The state usually punishes those who are in possession of cocaine, or are in possession with intent to sell, very harshly. As per Florida state statute 893.135, cocaine possession and trafficking is punishable by the following:
- If the individual was found with less than 28 grams, it is a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000;
- If the individual was found with 28 grams or more, they are considered a trafficker and they will be punished with a first degree felony;
- Possession of 28 to 200 grams of cocaine is punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000;
- Possession of 200 to 400 grams of cocaine is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000;
- Possession of 400 grams to 150 kilograms of cocaine is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000; and
- Possession of over 150 kilograms of cocaine is punishable by up to life in prison. Additionally, the sale of any amount of cocaine (not including the penalties associated with possession of an amount higher than 28 grams) is a second degree felony.
Drug possession is always treated as a very serious crime in Florida, especially due to the notoriously high level of trafficking that has historically taken place in the state. During the 1970s and 1980s, Florida became a hot route for cocaine smuggling. Produced in Colombia, cocaine and other drugs were shipped to Florida and distributed, the process made famous by drug lord Pablo Escobar, according to the BBC. He was reported as controlling 80 percent of the cocaine that came into the U.S. and was touted as being one of the top 10 richest people in the world. State and federal law enforcement aggressively attacked the drug smuggling ring, and created laws that heavily discouraged cocaine’s use. Despite this, cocaine is still regularly used and thousands of people end up spending lengthy prison sentences on a regular basis. As such, the court may not show very much leniency towards even first time offenders. However, with the guidance of an experienced Fort Lauderdale cocaine defense attorney, the penalties that you are facing can be greatly reduced.
Contact Our Office for Help
Call Deric Zacca today at 954-450-4848 and our Fort Lauderdale cocaine defense attorney can begin the process of working on clearing your name of all charges or aggressively fighting for a drastically reduced sentence. Deric Zacca has successfully defended clients with cocaine charges and will work tirelessly for you and your family to keep you out of prison.