Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed into law HB95, which intensifies the regulations and penalties against the crime of sale and distribution of opioids in the State. It seems the authorities are bent on cracking down on opioid crimes more rigorously, due to the long-sustained challenges that opioids have caused across the State, especially for the youth.
While the move is certainly praiseworthy, some individuals might find themselves wrongfully entangled in a drug-related case. With laws in Florida becoming more and more stringent to curb the demand and supply of illicit drugs, the situation for anyone stuck in the crossfires can get very complicated. Only a strong legal counsel in the form of a competent drug defense lawyer in Tampa like The Rickman Firm can help tackle the situation with ease.
The Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse made recommendations that are put into practice by HB 95, or the new Florida drug law. The special task force was established by Governor DeSantis in 2019 to develop a state strategy and identify best practices to combat the opioid epidemic through education, treatment, prevention, recovery, and law enforcement. This is exactly what it does.
For drug dealers caught selling fentanyl or methamphetamine, the new law raises penalties significantly, comparing their activity next to murder. If methamphetamine causes an overdose death, the new law enables prosecutors to leverage the option of charging the drug seller with first-degree murder. Under the HB95 Florida law, dealers may be sentenced to life in jail or possibly death for committing such an offense, which is deemed to be a capital offense like any other.
The mandatory minimum sentence for trafficking fentanyl has been increased under the new law from three years to seven years for amounts between four and fourteen grams, and from fifteen to twenty years for amounts between fourteen and twenty-eight grams. The law also stiffens fines for selling controlled substances within a mile of a facility housing patients for substance abuse treatment.
Fentanyl is regrettably becoming more and more common in Florida. Several months ago, many fentanyl incidents during spring break resulted in serious overdoses. Instances like this are endangering the lives of not just those who are getting addicted to such drugs, but also their loved ones, and the community as a whole.
Latest statistics from the Florida Medical Examiner’s Commission reveal that fentanyl consumption contributed to around 5,300 fatalities in the state. Governor DeSantis added that Florida saw a 5 percent spike in opioid-related fatalities in just the first half of 2021. In particular, fentanyl-related mortality increased by 10 percent.
This calls for immediate action to curb the spread of what can be easily termed as an epidemic through stringent laws and harsh punishments.
This is where the new law HB95 on opioids comes into play. The need of the hour is to teach young people not just why they should avoid drugs but also how to say no to them. With Florida’s senior officials extremely determined to tackle the issue from all angles, the new law is putting in place strict measures to curb drug usage spread.
With the new and reformed legislation, any kind of drug charges are going to be viewed very seriously in the State. This means that getting accused of obtaining, selling, or distributing drugs with the intent of trafficking could impose lengthy sentences and hefty fines, not to mention the social stigma associated with drugs. With the signing of the HB95, it seems Florida authorities will only crack down more and more on the issue.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a drug case in Florida, make sure that your first step is to reach out to a Tampa criminal defense lawyer. What you need, first and foremost, is quality and subjective legal counsel independent of any biases. Only a top drug defense lawyer in Tampa can detect the finer details of your case, analyze it in your favor, and build a suitable case to defend your claim in court.
If you are looking for a professional drug defense lawyer in Tampa, look no further than The Rickman Law Firm! Attorney Anthony Rickman is well-versed with the legal and judicial systems in the State as well as the right tactics to help build a strong case for your freedom.
Contact The Rickman Law Firm today to discuss your case.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.