Methamphetamine abuse and addiction are serious problems in Florida. Because of the addictive potential of this drug, Florida law classifies it as a schedule II controlled substance. People who are found to be in possession of schedule II drugs without valid prescriptions may face severe criminal penalties.
Under the law, people who are found to be in possession of methamphetamine may be charged with third-degree felonies. People who are charged with possessing precursor chemicals that are needed to manufacture meth with the intent to manufacture it may be charged with second-degree felonies. Likewise, people who possess precursor chemicals with the intent to distribute the chemicals while knowing that they will be used to make methamphetamine may be charged with second-degree felonies.
If children are present, the penalties become much harsher. People who are alleged to have manufactured meth or to be in possession of precursor chemicals around children who are younger than 16 may be charged with first-degree felonies that carry minimum mandatory prison sentences of 5 years. If any children under the age of 16 suffer from great bodily harm because of the meth exposure, the minimum mandatory sentence will be 10 years.
Drug charges may carry substantial penalties, including years of imprisonment, substantial fines, mandatory drug rehabilitation and more. People who are facing methamphetamine charges might want to retain criminal defense lawyers who are experienced in handling drug crimes cases. The attorneys may find problems with the manner in which the searches and seizures were conducted. If they do, they may challenge the admission of the evidence against their clients by filing evidentiary motions. Lawyers might also work to negotiate with the prosecutors to try to secure favorable pleas for lesser offenses or capped sentences. In some cases, the attorneys might be able to secure alternative sentence agreements that help their clients to avoid prison time.