In recent years, ever since the crackdown on prescription drugs, heroin has made a resurgance as a drug of choice in the State of Florida. As well, another controlled substance that is popular among opiate users is fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller than is considerably stronger than heroin.
Possession of fentanyl less than 4 grams is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison with no mandatory minimum.
Possession of fentanyl of 4 grams up to 14 grams is punishable carries a three-year mandatory minimum prison term. Possession of fentanyl of 14 grams up to 28 grams carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum prison term. Possession of fentanyl of more than 28 grams carries a mandatory minimum term of twenty-five years.
In its flawed reasoning, Florida lawmakers believe that more mandatory prison time will dissuade addicts from using this dangerous drug. However, as is the case with Florida's trafficking statutes, the mere possession of the designated amount of the substance is enough to trigger the mandatory minimum sentence.
Only the prosecutor can waive the mandatory minimum prison term.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade County and Broward County. Contact Attorney Eric Matheny if you or a loved one are facing possession of fentanyl charges.