Pensacola Fentanyl Drug Crime Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been caught with Fentanyl and charged with drug crimes, you are not alone. You deserve a compassionate, experienced attorney that will help you fight drug charges. The Pensacola drug crimes lawyers of The Morris Firm have helped thousands of Florida residents in Pensacola and elsewhere do just that.
Don’t let a drug charge put a stop to your life. Contact us today at (850) 503-2626 for a free consultation and let us build a comprehensive defense for you against your drug charges.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used as a pain reliever. It is usually prescribed to treat severe pain or for those who have built a tolerance to using opioids as pain relievers. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and has a high potential for abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the primary drugs involved in drug overdoses in America. In 2017, 59% of overdose deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids, compared to just over 14% in 2010.
Fentanyl is highly addictive and, due to its potency, carries a high risk of overdose. Although prescription fentanyl is usually administered in a patch or lozenge, illegal fentanyl comes in many forms: powder, pills, on blotter paper, in a nasal spray, or even in eye drops. It is also frequently mixed with other drugs like methamphetamine or MDMA as a small amount of fentanyl can increase the high of these drugs at very little cost. This increases the risk of overdose even further as illegal dosages are not monitored for accuracy, and people buying other drugs may not know they are laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl can have the following effects:
- Slow breathing
Fentanyl is highly addictive and can lead to dependence in just a few doses, even in prescription form. Withdrawal from fentanyl can be very painful. Withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes
- Uncontrollable leg movement
- Problems sleeping
Penalties for Fentanyl Use and Possession
Fentanyl is a Schedule II drug under Florida law. It has become so prevalent that the governor has declared a public health emergency due to the number of overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl or its derivatives. Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law in 2017 which stiffens the penalties and fines for possessing or trafficking fentanyl.
This law also allows prosecution for first-degree murder for anyone who sells the drug if doing so leads to a fatal overdose.
Possession of less than four grams is considered a third-degree felony and is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Possession of between four and 14 grams of fentanyl is considered fentanyl trafficking and is punishable by a mandatory three-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $50,000. Possession of between 14 and 28 grams is punishable by a mandatory minimum seven-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine, and between 28 grams and 30 kilos is a mandatory minimum 15-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.
Possession of more than 30 kilos of fentanyl is a first degree felony, and is punishable by life in prison.
Why Hire an Attorney for My Fentanyl Charges?
There are many reasons why hiring an attorney to defend you against charges of fentanyl trafficking or possession is important.
We know the law. An experienced attorney like one of the lawyers at The Morris Firm has experience defending clients against drug possession charges. We know the ins and outs of Florida drug laws, and we know the weak spots that we can exploit to mount a strong defense.
Fentanyl is high profile. Due to the increased usage of fentanyl and the increasing deaths attributable to fentanyl overdose, any drug charges regarding fentanyl are high-profile stories. The governor has taken a particular interest in eliminating the problem of fentanyl abuse, and any charges for possession or trafficking will be prosecuted vigorously. Hiring an attorney to assist with your defense is essential to avoid a prison sentence or large fine.
We do our due diligence. Although you may believe that beating a drug charge like fentanyl possession is impossible, an experienced attorney will investigate your arrest thoroughly to make sure no laws were broken in the process of arresting you. If law enforcement handled any part of the arrest incorrectly, we will find it and use it for your defense.
Why Choose The Morris Firm?
The Morris Firm has helped over 3,000 clients defend themselves against criminal prosecution in the Pensacola area. We take pride in providing compassionate, affordable legal services for Pensacola residents and defend against all types of criminal charges, including assault, DUI, theft, and drug crimes. From misdemeanors to capital felonies, we’ve seen it all, and we know how to make Florida criminal law work for you.
Steps to Take After an Arrest for Fentanyl
If you’ve been arrested and charged with fentanyl possession or trafficking, here are some steps you can take immediately to avoid incriminating yourself and stay safe:
- Stay calm. Take a few deep breaths and realize that you’re likely going to jail for a short time. Getting angry or antagonistic toward law enforcement will only exacerbate the situation. Remain calm and go through your options.
- Keep quiet. You have the right to remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself. Don’t attempt to explain what’s going on. Don’t answer any questions outside of what is absolutely necessary to identify yourself, and request to speak to your lawyer right away. If the authorities persist in asking questions, tell them you won’t speak to anyone but your attorney.
- Do not resist. Resisting arrest is a good way to turn a misdemeanor into a felony. Don’t fight with law enforcement officers. Recognize that they have a job to do. Remember, the law states you are innocent until proven guilty and that you will have a chance to defend yourself. You don’t have to be kind, but you should be respectful.
- Request bail. If you or your attorney don’t request bail, you’ll have to stay in jail for the duration of your court case.
- Remember the details. Try to keep an accurate account of the events before, during, and after your arrest. Remember where you were and exactly what you were doing, what time of day it was, and how the arrest occurred. If possible, write this information down. It will be invaluable to your defense attorney.
- Get a lawyer. Retain legal counsel right away. The sooner you have a lawyer to help with your drug charges, the sooner you can get back to your life.
- Follow your lawyer’s advice. Even if it seems counterintuitive, do what your lawyer recommends. Trust that they have your best interests in mind and follow their instructions.
Possible Defenses for Fentanyl Charges
Charges for possession or trafficking of fentanyl can be hard to beat, but your odds are better if you have a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with Florida drug laws and criminal justice proceedings.
Some pretrial defenses to fentanyl charges include the following:
- Warrantless stop. The circumstances that allow a law enforcement officer to arrest someone without a warrant are limited. A felony arrest requires probable cause, but some misdemeanor arrests are only allowed if the officer actually sees a crime being committed.
- Illegal search and seizure. Most searches by law enforcement require the willing cooperation of the person being searched. If law enforcement officers did not request permission before searching you and finding drugs, we can use that in your defense.
Some trial defenses to fentanyl charges include the following:
- Constructive possession. If you are caught with fentanyl, simple possession is not enough to convict you of a crime. The prosecution must prove two things: you had knowledge of the drug’s presence, and you had dominion and control over the drug. For example, if the police pull you over, search your vehicle and find fentanyl in the glove box, we might build our defense around the fact that you did not know the fentanyl was present because it was put there by someone else without your knowledge.
- Lack of knowledge. You may be able to defend yourself by stating you had no idea that you were carrying fentanyl or no idea of the laws surrounding its legality.
- Temporary possession. It is possible to use this defense if you were only in possession of the drug for a short time if we can prove that you had no dominion or control over the fentanyl at the time of your arrest.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or trafficking of fentanyl, there are ways to beat or reduce the charges. We are standing by to take your call. Don’t wait any longer. Call The Morris Firm at (850) 503-2626 today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us show you how we have helped thousands of other clients in Pensacola beat their drug charges.