Drug Crimes for Fentanyl
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid… similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is also used and made illegally.”
Because so many accidental drug overdoses involve synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, law enforcement has shifted its focus to crimes involving fentanyl. The Florida Legislature recently passed new legislation that provides enhanced penalties for offenses related to fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives/
Fentanyl and related substances, including alfentanil, carfentanil, and sufentanil, are classified as Schedule (2)(b) controlled substances. Under Section 893.13, F.S., crimes involving fentanyl and other Schedule (2)(b) controlled substances include:
- possessing less than 10 grams (a third degree felony);
- distributing fentanyl, except through an authorized order form (a third degree felony);
- possessing 10 grams or more of the substance (a first degree felony);
- bringing or importing the substance into Florida (a second degree felony);
- purchasing or possessing the substance with intent to purchase (a second degree felony);
- selling, manufacturing, or delivering the substance, or possessing the substance with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver (a second degree felony); and
- trafficking in fentanyl (a first degree felony).
Attorney for Fentanyl Crimes in Florida
If you were charged with a crime involving the possession of fentanyl, then contact an experienced attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We can help you fight the charges aggressively.
During the initial consultation, we can discuss the pending charges, the typical penalties, and the best ways to avoid those penalties.
Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges treat any crime involving fentanyl differently from other controlled substances. You need an attorney to help you resolve your pending charges with the best possible result.
Let us put our experience to work for you.
Penalties in Florida for Trafficking in Fentanyl
Trafficking in fentanyl, a fentanyl derivative, or a mixture containing a fentanyl derivative or analog is a first degree felony. The following penalties apply depending on the quantity of fentanyl involved in the drug trafficking violation:
- four (4) grams or more, but less than fourteen (14) grams has a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven (7) years and a fine of $50,000;
- fourteen (14) grams or more, but less than twenty-eigth (28) grams has a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years and a fine of $100,000; and
- twenty-eight (28) grams or more has a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty-five (25) years and a $500,000 fine.
Effective October 1, 2023, CS/CS/HB 1359, created a new offense under Florida law, punishable as a first degree felony and subject to minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of three (3) years, if a person sells, manufactures, or delivers, or possesses with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, specified fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives if the fentanyl or derivative is in a form that resembles, or is mixed, granulated, absorbed, spray-dried, aerosolized, as or onto, coated on in whole or in part, or solubilized with or into, a product, if the product or its packaging further has at least one of the following attributes:
- contains a cartoon character imprint;
- resembles candy, cereal, a gummy, a vitamin, or a chewable product, such as a gum or gelatin-based product;
- incorporates an actual or fake registered copyright, service mark, or trademark; or
- resembles the trade dress of a branded food product, consumer food product, or logo food product.
The Florida Legislature also amended Section 893.135, F.S., to require a mandatory minimum term of not less than 25 years and not exceeding life imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine if a person 18 years of age or older is convicted of trafficking in dangerous fentanyl or fentanyl analogs by knowingly selling or delivering to a minor at least four grams of fentanyl or a fentanyl analog if such substance or a mixture containing such a substance has the attributes listed above.
The new legislature followed reports by law enforcement agencies that more fentanyl-laced products are brightly colored and often resemble candy, popularly known as “rainbow fentanyl.” Additionally, the DEA reported that drug cartels are manufacturing rainbow fentanyl in an effort to target children and young adults.
Read more about crimes for trafficking in fentanyl.
This article was last updated on Thursday, July 6, 2023.