Possession of Heroin

Heroin is an opioid that was originally created for pain management, but soon became a recreational drug among addicts. The substance can be injected, snorted, or smoked and leaves the user with a euphoric feeling. Although the drug has always been in circulation in the United States, recently there has been a surge of opioid-related deaths in the nation. Especially overdose cases related to heroin or heroin mixtures.

In fact, the state of Florida Department of Health Bureau discovered that in 2016 to 2017 the amount of drug overdoses related to heroin doubled. These shocking statistics have put pressure on law enforcement to arrest on the spot when they suspect possible heroin possession. It’s also caused prosecutors to be incredibly harsh when it comes to filing charges against offenders, even if they are struggling addicts. That is why we highly encourage you to seek legal representation if you’ve been accused of heroin possession.

Laws Against Heroin in Florida | Drug Defense Attorney in Brooksville, FL

The majority of heroin users are not criminals, but simply victims of addiction. Many of them are professionals who got caught up with the drug after becoming chemically dependent on a prescribed painkiller. Unfortunately, the state of Florida still has harsh laws for offenders caught with heroin. If you or someone you know has been arrested for heroin possession, we urge you to reach out to The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A..

Ashley Aulls of The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. has spent decades defending clients from all sorts of drug crimes including cocaine possession, methamphetamine possession, and possession of heroin. He understands how most people accused of this crime are just struggling internally and can craft a defense to exhibit that fact.

Call The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. now at (352) 593-4115 to set up your first consultation free of charge. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Brooksville and Hernando County area and surrounding communities including Spring Hill, Hernando, Ridge Manor, Pine Island, Weeki Wachee Gardens, High Point, Brookridge, Homosassa, Inverness, Crystal River, Beverly Hills, Pine Ridge, Bushnell, Citrus Hills, and Wildwood.

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Is Heroin Illegal or Legal in Florida?

Heroin has a long history in American culture. The substance is a type of artificial opiate, which is derived from the opium poppy that has been consumed by humans since 3400 BC. Heroin itself was created in a scientific setting after chemist Felix Hoffman attempted to create codeine by acetylating diamorphine (also referred to as morphine). Instead of creating codeine, the chemist produced the first form of heroin.

For decades, the substance was trademarked as Heroin and was advertised as a non-addictive morphine substance and cough suppressant. In 1924, the substance was banned and was categorized as a Schedule I substance under federal penalty groups. Ever since then the controlled substance heroin has been illegal under both federal and state law.

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Heroin Possession Laws

In Florida, possessing even trace amounts of heroin is illegal. The crime is classified under Florida Statutes Section 893.3(6)(a). According to the statutes, you can be considered in actual or constructive possession of heroin. Actual possession is when the drug is on your person or very close to you. For example, if you were caught with heroin in your purse, then law enforcement would charge you with actual possession.

Constructive possession is a little more complex under Florida law. Prosecutors must prove multiple elements to charge you with constructive possession including:

  • You knew of the controlled substance presence
  • You had control or ownership over the drug
  • The substance was heroin or a mixture of heroin

For instance, if law enforcement found drugs in a rented storage room under your name, then you would be considered in constructive possession. The reason why is you had complete control over that storage room and what’s stored within that space.

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Is Possession of Heroin a Felony in Florida?

The penalties for heroin possession will depend on the facts of the case and your prior criminal history. Under Section 893.13(6)(c) of the Florida Statutes, possession of heroin at any amount is a third-degree felony punishable by:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Driver’s license revocation for one year

If you’re possessing more than 4 grams at the time of the offense, the judge may reclassify the crime to a first-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a first-degree felony is up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Penalties for Trafficking Heroin in Florida

If a large quantity of drugs is found, then law enforcement may charge you with possession with intent, sale, delivery, or manufacturing of a controlled substance. The penalties for trafficking heroin in Florida can be found below.

Controlled Substance Amount Fine Prison Sentence
Heroin 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams $50,000 Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison
14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams $100,000 Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison
28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms $500,000 Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison
30 kilograms or more Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release


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Additional Resources

SAMHSA National Hotline for Substance Abuse – Visit the official website for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to learn more about their hotline for recovering drug addicts. Access the site to learn what the hotline is for, hours of operation, how information is kept confidential, and the number for the hotline.

Heroin Laws in Florida – Visit the official website of Online Sunshine, a collection of the Florida Statutes so you can read up on their laws for heroin possession, sale, manufacture, or delivery. Access the site to learn the penalties, aggravating factors, drug-free zones, admissible defenses, legal definitions, and other important information.

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Heroin Possession Defense Lawyer in Hernando County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin possession or any other related crime, then it’s imperative you contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. With decades of practice on his side, Ashley Aulls of The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. has the drug defense experience we can apply for your case. Don’t wait another moment to secure your future and call The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. today to learn more about your legal options.

Call The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. today at (352) 593-4115 to schedule your first consultation in Hernando County, Sumter County, or Citrus County, Florida.

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