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Crimes for Selling Controlled Substances

Under Section 893.13, F.S., Florida law prohibits selling a controlled substance or possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell the controlled substance. The maximum and minimum penalty depends on how the drug is scheduled and, in some cases, the location where the incident occurred.

Depending on these factors, crimes for selling or possessing with the intent to sell can be classified as first-degree felony, a second-degree felony, a third-degree felony, or a first-degree misdemeanor.

Most charges for actually selling drugs involve elaborate sting operations usually involving an undercover officer or confidential informant. Rarely does the possession with intent to sell accusation involve a post-Miranda statement that “yes, I intended to sell these drugs.”

Instead, the officer might use circumstantial evidence to prove the intent to sell such as the way the drugs are packaged, the way money was found with the drugs, or finding scales or other paraphernalia associated with selling drugs.

Attorney for Drug Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you were arrested for selling or being in possession of drugs with the intent to sell, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. The four attorneys fight serious drug charges aggressively throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

The most serious drug cases are often won or lost based on the outcomes of pretrial motions to suppress evidence illegally obtained, exclude prejudicial evidence, or dismiss charges not supported by sufficient evidence.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can also prepare the case for trial. The best pre-trial negotiations take place only after the prosecutor realizes that your attorney is ready for trial.

For more than ten years, our main officer has been located at the same location in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County, FL. We have a second office in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL. We also fight felony drug crime cases throughout the courtrooms in the surrounding areas including Brooksville in Hernando County, Clearwater in Pinellas County, Bradenton in Manatee County, and Bartow in Polk County, FL.

For any drug crime in Florida, contact our firm to schedule a consultation. We can explain the charges pending against you, the maximum and minimum penalties, and the best defenses to fight the case.

Call 813-250-0500.


Sell of Controlled Substances as a Second Degree Felony

For some types of controlled substances, the crime of sell or possession with intent to sell is classified as a second-degree felony including controlled substances found in Schedule I(a), (b), and (d) and Schedule II(a), (b), and (c)5, including:

  • cocaine
  • fentanyl
  • heroin
  • hydrocodone
  • LSD
  • methamphetamine
  • oxycodone
  • synthetic cannabinoids

For these substances referenced in Section 893.13(1)(c)1.-(f)1. and (h)1., F.S., the crime can be classified as a first-degree felony, if the act of selling or possessing with the intent to sell the substance occurred within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school or certain other specified facilities or places.

The Florida legislature carved out harsher penalties for substances are covered by s. 893.135, F.S., which includes cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin. For those substances, if the amount involved in the sale meets the drug trafficking threshold, the sale is generally punished as a first degree felony. Read more about trafficking in hydrocodone.


Sell of Controlled Substances as a Third Degree Felony

For some types of controlled substances, the crime of sell or possession with intent to sell is classified as a third-degree felony including controlled substances found in Schedule I(c); Schedule II(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)6., (2)c.7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., and (2)(c)10.; Schedule III; and Schedule IV, including:

  • amphetamine
  • amphetamine derivatives (depending on the classification)
  • anabolic steroids; barbiturates (depending on the classification)
  • cannabis
  • methamphetamine.

Under Section 893.13(1)(c)2.-(f)2. and (h)2., F.S., the crime is classified as a second degree felony, if the act of selling or possessing the substance with the intent to sell the substance occurs within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school or other specified facilities or places.

The Florida legislature carved out harsher penalties for substances are covered by s. 893.135, F.S., which includes cannabis, amphetamine, and methamphetamine. For those substances, if the sale meets the drug trafficking threshold, the sale is generally punished as a first degree felony.

Sell of Controlled Substances as a Misdemeanor

For some types of controlled substances, the crime of sell or possession with intent to sell is classified as a first degree misdemeanor including controlled substances found in Schedule V including:

  • some anticonvulsant drugs
  • drug products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that contains cannabidiol and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Florida law does not currently provide for a penalty enhancement for selling or possessing with intent to sell a Schedule V controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school or other specified facilities or places. Florida law does, however, impose a mandatory $500 fine and mandatory public service (100 hours) as provided in Section 893.13(1)(c)3., (f)3., and (h)3., F.S.


This article was last updated on Friday, October 23, 2020.

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