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Florida Cocaine Laws

Florida's geographic location has long made it a popular location for importing drugs. But perhaps no other drug has shaped the region the way cocaine has. Cocaine and cocaine-related money came pouring into South Florida in the 1980s and some estimate it helped build 80 percent of the downtown Miami skyline. Pablo Escobar, Manuel Noriega and ruthless cocaine cartels have had a hand in shaping Florida's history.

State Cocaine Laws

Against this backdrop, it's no surprise that possession of cocaine is a serious offense in the Sunshine State. Possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine is considered trafficking and a first-degree felony. That said, first-time cocaine offenders with small amounts of the drug can sometimes qualify for diversion programs.

Cocaine Statutes in Florida

The basic provisions of Florida cocaine laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Details on State Cocaine Laws to learn more.

Code Section

775.082, et seq.; 893.01, et seq.

Possession

3rd degree felony; Possession of 28 g. is trafficking (1st degree felony)

Sale

2nd degree felony (penalties more severe near school)

Trafficking

All sentencing is to be done pursuant to sentencing guidelines:

28-200 g.: $50,000 and 3 yrs.;

200-400 g.: $100,000 and 7 yrs.;

400 g.-150 kg.: 15 yrs. and $250,000;

Over 150 kg.: Potential life imprisonment

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

As with other illicit drugs, cocaine is regulated at both the state and federal level. Federal drug laws restrict everything from mere cocaine possession all the way up to trafficking and distribution as well as manufacturing and cultivation. Convictions for drug offenses in general, and cocaine specifically, can carry severe penalties, depending on whether the defendant has prior drug convictions and the quantity of drugs involved.

Some prosecutors may offer plea bargains to lower-level offenders in exchange for help building cases against higher-level producers and dealers. Additionally, some jurisdictions have specialized "drug courts" that can help drug crime defendants avoid jail in lieu of treatment and other options. The goal of drug court is to reduce recidivism, treat addicts, and rehabilitate drug offenders without sending them to prison. They often involve regular drug testing, check-ins with probation officers, and ongoing addiction services.

Florida Cocaine Laws: Related Resources

Along with some social attitudes regarding drug use, state drug laws are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for additional articles and introductory information. If you think you need help with a drug addiction or substance abuse problem, the Florida Department of Health has resources available to you.

Legal Research

Get a Free Review of Your Florida Drug Charges

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Florida, particularly if it's cocaine or other hard drugs, you may be facing possible prison time. But the right legal guidance -- depending on the severity of the charge and any past offenses -- will be able to help keep it to a minimum. Get started today with a free case evaluation from a Florida defense attorney.

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