In Florida, the unauthorized manufacturing of methamphetamine, heroin, or any other controlled substance is a serious crime. Drug manufacturing cases are often complicated, and may involve multiple felony charges and enhanced penalties. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg drug crime attorneys can evaluate the evidence in criminal cases and devise an appropriate strategy against the charges. We have the experience to handle drug manufacturing cases arising out of any allegations, from marijuana grow operations and meth labs, to possession with intent to manufacture.Florida Criminal Offenses for Drug Manufacturing
Controlled substances are drugs that are regulated by state and federal laws. They include illegal street drugs, like heroin and ecstasy, and many medications that must be obtained by prescription. Except as authorized by law, it is a crime in Florida to manufacture a controlled substance, or possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture it. The term “manufacture” is defined under Florida law to mean the production, preparation, cultivation, propagation, growing, compounding, or processing of a controlled substance. In addition, manufacturing includes packaging a controlled substance and labeling or re-labeling a container holding a controlled substance. As a result, drug manufacturing encompasses a wide range of activities, such as the chemical process of making synthetic drugs as well as naturally growing cannabis from seeds.
Drug manufacturing crimes are covered under two different Florida statutes, as well as federal law. The basic Florida statute prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and delivery of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to do so, generally applies to drug manufacturing cases that involve a smaller quantity of controlled substances. Despite a lower threshold amount, most of the drug manufacturing crimes provided under this statute are felony offenses. The penalties for a conviction depend on the class of drug and the quantity possessed, among other factors, but may include imprisonment and large fines. The defendant may face enhanced penalties if the offense occurred near a child care facility, an elementary, middle, or high school, a public or private college or university, a park, a community center, or a publicly owned recreational facility. Additional penalties may also be imposed for illegal drug manufacturing that takes place within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, a convenience store, a public housing facility, or an assisted living facility. If a law enforcement officer or other government employee is injured as a result of a violation of the Florida drug manufacturing laws, the degree of felony charged may also be elevated. A skilled drug crime attorney can help you develop a strategy for the charges you may be facing.Larger Quantities
If the quantity of drugs exceeds a certain amount, the Florida drug trafficking statute may apply. Drug manufacturing charged under the trafficking statute is a more serious crime. These crimes are first degree felony offenses, and a defendant may be subject to mandatory minimum penalties if convicted. This statute imposes penalties for various amounts of a particular controlled substance. These penalties increase with the amount of the controlled substance allegedly involved in the drug manufacturing case. For example, manufacturing 28 grams or more of cocaine, but less than 200 grams, is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years and a $50,000 fine. Possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture drugs is also a criminal offense in Florida. A conviction for possession with intent to manufacture is typically punishable by the same penalties as manufacturing a controlled substance.Retain a St. Petersburg Attorney for Drug Manufacturing Charges
If you have been arrested for drug manufacturing or trafficking, you may seek an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg defense lawyers are prepared to help people facing state or federal charges for drug manufacturing, as well as other felony and misdemeanor drug offenses. We can represent defendants located in areas throughout Pinellas County, particularly Tampa Bay and Clearwater. Request a free initial consultation to discuss a criminal law matter by calling Blake & Dorsten at 727-286-6141 or contacting us online.