While heroin was once commercially sold as a cough suppressant, it has since gained the reputation as being one of the most dangerous and destructive illegal drugs. As a result, heroin has been classified Schedule I controlled substance under both federal and state law.
Possessing even a small amount of heroin can still result in significant penalties. In addition to lengthy terms of incarceration and huge fines, alleged offenders can experience profound hardships obtaining employment or housing by having these offenses on their criminal records.
If you were arrested for allegedly possessing heroin in Florida, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Terrezza Law defends clients in and around Pensacola, including Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Milton, and many nearby communities.
John Terrezza is a Pensacola drug crime attorney who represents people who have been charged with or convicted of heroin possession. Call (850) 764-5291 or complete an online contact form today to take advantage of a free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case.
Under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a), it is a third-degree felony if an alleged offender is in actual or constructive possession of heroin. Florida Standard Jury Instruction § 25.7 defines actual possession as the alleged offender being aware of the presence of the heroin and:
Constructive possession means the alleged offender was aware of the presence of the heroin, the heroin was in a place over which the alleged offender has control, and the alleged offender had the ability to control the heroin. The Jury Instruction notes that mere proximity to heroin is not sufficient to establish control over it when the heroin is in a place that the alleged offender does not control.
In order to be convicted of this crime, Florida Standard Jury Instruction § 25.7 also establishes that the state must prove the three following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
The possible consequences of a third-degree felony conviction are severe. A sentence may include any combination of the following:
While Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(c) states that alleged offenders who possess 10 grams or more of a Schedule I controlled substance like heroin can be charged with a first-degree felony, possession of four grams or more of heroin can actually result in first-degree felony charges for drug trafficking. First-degree felonies are punishable by maximum fines of $10,000 and maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.
Community Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc. (CDAC) — The CDAC is a nonprofit organization that provides various programs for drug abuse education, awareness, intervention, and prevention. You can learn more about CDAC’s programs for teenagers, expectant mothers, low-income families, and other adults on this website. You can also find drug use statistics, recent news releases, and a calendar of upcoming events.
Community Drug & Alcohol Council
3804 North Ninth Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32503
State report shows Florida heroin deaths reached all-time high in 2014 — Read this September 30, 2015 Tampa Bay Times story discussing the release of the 2014 Annual Medical Examiners Commission Drug Report. According to the medical examiners, heroin was detected in 447 fatalities throughout Florida in 2014, an all-time high that more than doubled the 199 people with heroin in their bodies when they died in 2013. You can also view multiple graphs and charts about heroin use trends in Florida by viewing the Florida Drug Trends Update November 2015 supported by Florida Department of Children and Families Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office.
Were you or your loved one recently arrested in Florida for allegedly possessing heroin? You should immediately contact Terrezza Law for help possibly getting criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
John Terrezza is a Pensacola drug crimes attorney serving communities throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County. In addition to defending clients against the initial criminal charges, he also helps clients with criminal appeals and expunction matters.
You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case by calling (850) 764-5291 or sending us an online contact form for a free, confidential consultation.