Heroin is an opioid drug synthesized from morphine that typically comes in white or brown powder form and is typically administered by injection. It can also be snorted or smoked, but its effects are generally felt quite rapidly which is why the drug can become highly addictive.
The federal government and the state of Florida both classify heroin as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it is considered to be among the most dangerous types of illegal drugs. A person who possesses even a small amount of heroin can face extremely serious criminal charges that could result in several years—or possibly even decades in prison.
Were you recently arrested in Central Florida for alleged possession of heroin? It is critical for you to immediately find legal representation for the most effective defense against these charges.
The Brevard County heroin attorney at The Law Offices of James B. Coulter represent residents in communities throughout the greater Titusville area as well as many tourists and other visitors who were arrested while visiting the Sunshine State. You can have us provide a complete evaluation of your case by calling (321) 586-9944 right now to set up a free initial consultation.
It is a second-degree felony under Florida Statute § 893.13 for a person to possess, sell, manufacture, deliver, purchase, or possess or with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver heroin. This crime becomes a first-degree felony if an alleged offender is charged with committing any one of these offenses in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any of the following locations:
In addition to having their driver’s licenses revoked for one year by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), people convicted of these crimes can also receive the following sentences:
Under Florida Statute § 893.135, a person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, brings into Florida, or is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of four grams or more of heroin can be charged with the first-degree felony offense of trafficking in illegal drugs.
If convicted of a first-degree felony, an alleged offender faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The statute also established the following increased fines and mandatory minimum sentences:
In cases involving 30 kilograms or more of heroin, an alleged offender may be charged with capital felony of trafficking in illegal drugs if the court determines that:
In a capital felony case, the court will conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the alleged offender should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
If an alleged offender is convicted of trafficking in illegal drugs involving 60 kilograms or more of heroin and one of the capital felony offenses listed above, he or she could receive the death penalty.
Florida was the first state in the country to create a drug court that attempted to address the problem with many repeat offenders returning to court to face the same charges. Brevard County has several drug court programs that are intended to help people with addiction issues rather than forcing them to languish in prison.
While a lawyer will certainly investigate to determine if there are any ways to get criminal charges dismissed first, drug courts represent another possible favorable outcome for many alleged offenders who have been arrested for a heroin-related crime.
It is important to understand that participation in a drug court program is not automatic, and you attorney may have to negotiate a plea agreement that gets your charges reduced first before you can be accepted.
Upon admission into the drug court, you will be expected to strictly comply with all rules and expectations for the duration of the program. This usually means attending group meetings (such as Narcotics Anonymous), individual therapy sessions, and submitting to random drug tests.
Failure to abide by the terms of the program can have significant consequences, including possibly having the judge enter a guilty plea and sentencing the alleged offender to prison.
Drug Court | Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida — The Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida website discusses the different types of drug courts in Brevard County and how they work. You can learn more about Adult Delinquency Drug Court, Adult Dependency Drug Court, and Adult Criminal Drug Court. You can also download the Brevard County Adult Drug Court Referral Form.
Brevard County Adult Drug Court Program
Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center
2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, FL 32940-8006
Nar-Anon Florida Region — Visit the website for a 12-step program for friends and family members of people addicted to drugs. Much like the relationship of Al-Anon to Alcoholics Anonymous, Nar-Anon is a separate program that is complementary to Narcotics Anonymous (NA). On this website, you can find meetings in Cocoa Beach and Central Florida, upcoming events, and information about the program.
If you are facing criminal charges related to heroin possession in Florida, you will want to make sure that you have a strong and aggressive legal defense. The The Law Offices of James B. Coulter handles cases like these for residents throughout Central Florida as well as visitor arrests involving tourists and travelers who live in other states or countries.
James Coulter has more than two decades of combined experience handling these types of drug charges. Call (321) 586-9944 to schedule a free, confidential consultation that will let our criminal defense attorney review your case.