Synthetic Drug Crimes
Synthetic drugs, also known as designer drugs, are often sold and marketed as bath salts or incense, with street names like spice, K2, and flakka. Over the last few years, Florida has amended its criminal laws to include many types of synthetic drugs as controlled substances. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg drug crime attorneys are diligent in keeping up with these changes to provide effective criminal defense representation to our clients. If you have been arrested for possessing or selling synthetic drugs, or charged with another felony drug crime, we can help you fight against a conviction.Florida Synthetic Drug Crimes
Synthetic drugs are man-made, chemical compounds created to imitate and enhance the effects of other types of illicit drugs on the nervous system. A few examples of synthetic drugs that are illegal in Florida include fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, synthetic cannaboids, and synthetic methamphetamines, commonly known as bath salts. The properties of synthetic drugs are often unpredictable. Instances of hallucination, extreme paranoia, and other dangerous side effects caused by synthetic drugs have occurred in Florida and other places in the United States. In many cases, synthetic drugs are deceptively labeled and sold in gas stations, convenience stores, and online to people who do not know they are illegal.
In Florida, it is a crime to unlawfully possess any controlled substance, including a synthetic drug. The severity of the offense and potential penalties depend on the class of drug and the quantity possessed, among other factors. Florida law classifies most synthetic drugs as Schedule I controlled substances. Accordingly, possession of less than three grams of a synthetic drug is a first-degree misdemeanor offense. If convicted, a defendant may face up to one year in jail, probation, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. In some cases, the penalties may also include suspended driving privileges for up to two years, enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program, and civil asset forfeiture. Possession of three or more grams of an illegal synthetic drug is a third-degree felony in Florida. A conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to five years, probation, a maximum fine of $5,000, and other penalties.
Selling, manufacturing, or delivering any amount of a synthetic drug is a felony offense in Florida. It is also a crime to possess a synthetic drug with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver it. In some cases, the prosecution may allege possession with intent based on the amount of drugs involved along with the surrounding circumstances of the offense. A second-degree felony charge for possession with intent is punishable by a maximum of fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been charged with a synthetic drug crime, a knowledgeable attorney can advise you of any potential defenses to the allegations. It is important to note that the criminal laws covering synthetic drugs are amended frequently, and regulate new synthetic compounds that have been developed. Lack of intent or knowledge may be a defense in some situations. For example, if you purchased a substance labeled as incense from a corner store intending to burn it, without knowing it was an illegal synthetic drug, you may be able to argue a lack of criminal intent. Other defenses to a synthetic drug charge may be an illegal police search and seizure, insufficient evidence to convict, and more depending on the facts of the case.Retain a Synthetic Drug Crimes Attorney in the St. Petersburg Area
At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we have the resources and experience to handle synthetic drug cases and many other criminal matters. Our St. Petersburg defense lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and pursuing the best possible outcome. We can provide legal representation to residents of Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and communities throughout Pinellas County. Contact Blake & Dorsten today for a free initial consultation. We are available by phone at (727) 286-6141 or online.