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Miami Criminal Lawyer > Miami Criminal Defense > Miami Drug Crime Lawyer > Miami Heroin Possession & Distribution Lawyer

Miami Heroin Possession & Distribution Lawyer

Depending on the amount of heroin in your possession, you can face anywhere from 5 to 30 years of imprisonment for this drug crime.  Florida and the federal government both take drug possession extremely seriously, and law enforcement officials have been cracking down on the possession, distribution, and trafficking of illicit substances.

If you have been arrested for the possession of heroin, you need to contact an experienced Miami heroin possession lawyer.  You shouldn’t have to handle a complicated defense on your own.  Learn more about how the dedicated lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC can help with your case.

Florida and Federal Definition of Heroin Possession

Under Florida Statute § 893.03, heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.  According to the law, as a Schedule I drug, heroin “has a high potential for abuse,” and there exists “no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”  In other words, it’s one of the most dangerous illegal substances available.

Under Florida law, a person must “knowingly” have possession of the controlled substance, and possession can be “actual or constructive.”  When a person has actual possession of a drug like heroin, that typically means that the person had exclusive control over the substance and that it was found directly in the person’s possession.  For example, actual possession might involve a situation in which a police officer finds heroin in a defendant’s wallet or in the inside pocket of a defendant’s purse.

Constructive possession is a little bit different, and it usually arises in situations where more than one person could have had access to or control over the heroin.  To prove constructive possession, a prosecutor will need to show that a defendant:

  • Knew that the heroin was present; and
  • Had control over that heroin.

When a defendant has been charged with constructive possession of heroin, an experienced Miami heroin possession defense lawyer can argue that someone else actually was responsible for the controlled substance.  Florida drug laws are particularly complex, but a Florida criminal lawyer can help to ensure that you present the best possible defense.

Under federal law, heroin is also considered a Schedule I drug and is governed by the Controlled Substances Act. In the U.S. it is a federal crime to possess, manufacture, or distribute any amount of heroin for any purpose. Possession for federal purposes can also be simple or constructive which is the same as Florida law.

Heroin Penalties Under Florida and Federal Law

When you’ve been charged with the possession of heroin, you will typically be facing penalties for a third degree felony offense.  When you’ve been charged with possession of less than 10 grams of heroin, you can face the following:

  • Up to 5 years in prison;
  • Up to 5 years of probation;
  •      Up to $5,000 in monetary fines; and
  • A revocation of your driver’s license for 2 years.

When you’ve been charged with possession of more than 10 grams of heroin, however, the penalties become much steeper.  As a first degree felony, possession of more than 10 grams of heroin can result in:

  • Up to 30 years in prison;
  • Up to $10,000 in monetary fines; and
  • A revocation of your driver’s license for 2 years.

Possession of especially large quantities of heroin can lead to trafficking charges, which carry additional penalties.

On a federal level, possession of heroin also carries strict penalties. For a first time offender, possession of heroin means up to one year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine. For a second heroin possession offense, you can serve up to two years and get a $2,500 fine. A third possession offense, and any subsequent possession arrests, can get you up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each.

Contact a Miami Heroin Possession Lawyer

Why are heroin penalties so severe in Florida?  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 4 million people aged 12 and older indicate that they’ve used this dangerous drug, and nearly 25 percent of those people have become dependent on heroin.  Possession of heroin is not taken lightly in our state.  If your have been charged with possession of heroin on the state or federal level contact our experienced Miami drug crime lawyers to discuss your case.

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