As a part of the growing opioid crisis in the United States, arrests and charges for heroin possession are increasing as law enforcement steps up efforts to combat the problem. This means if you are a heroin user, your chances of being caught and charged with possession are likely much greater now than in the past.
If the police have arrested you for heroin possession in Orlando, you should know that you do have rights. A criminal defense attorney, especially one with former experience on the other side as a prosecutor, can help you understand your options. Here is some basic information about heroin charges in Florida and your rights.
Florida law on heroin possession
Florida legislators are focusing attention on the heroin epidemic in the state. They have passed laws requiring mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of fentanyl possession. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Heroin possession carries a penalty as a third-degree felony, which can lead to up to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines and driver’s license suspension. For a judge to convict you on charges of heroin possession, the prosecutor must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you were in possession of a controlled substance and that the substance was heroin.
Guilty or not guilty
Heroin cases, like many serious drug crime cases, are complex. The outcome is often much more than a simple cut-and-dry matter of guilty or not guilty. A skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to work within the court system to find ways to assist you in your case and try to mitigate the penalties. For example, a lawyer can enter into negotiations to reduce the severity of your sentencing. Sometimes, the evidence the prosecution presents may have flaws. A criminal defense attorney who works with heroin possession cases knows what types of potential flaws may occur in evidence and can evaluate your case thoroughly and challenge faulty evidence before your case goes to trial.
If you are facing heroin possession charges, one of the first and most important things to remember is that you have rights. Seek out a criminal defense attorney to defend you in court so you can explore your options and get a clearer picture of the possible consequences of your charges and potential outcomes.