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Minimum Sentence for Meth

by | Jun 5, 2014 | Drug Charges, Drug Possession

Meth is one of the most commonly abused drugs in our world today.  Some think it is a recent problem but Meth is not a new drug.  It has been around since 1893 and was used as a medicine.  But the widespread abuse of it peaked in the 1980s when people learned how to illegally make it for themselves.

It is very important to understand that this crime carries mandatory minimum sentence.  This means that the law requires a certain amount of time in jail and a certain fine.  There are no misdemeanor charges when it comes to Meth.   It does not matter if you have no prior criminal history or that this is your first offense.  You can still go to jail, and there is a strict minimum sentence for meth.

There are several areas related to Meth production that are illegal.  Meth is classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance and requires a prescription to be legal.  This is a charge that could be added to other various charges, which increases the penalties.

Florida State Statute § 893.149 addresses Criminal Possession.  This includes any of the ingredients used to make Meth with the intent to manufacture it. This is considered a Second Degree Felony.  Even if you are not making the Meth yourself but know that is what the ingredients are for you can be charged. You can also receive the minimum sentence for Meth.

Another area lawmakers addressed is § 893.13(1)(g) Harm To Children. This means that if a child under the age of 16 is present while Meth is being manufactured it becomes a First Degree Felony with a mandatory minimum 5 year sentence.  If a child under the age of 16 suffers great bodily harm that penalty increases to a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence.

Trafficking means you intend to sell or distribute Meth or know about the intent.  It is covered by § 893.135(1)(f).  There are several layers of penalties for this charge.  They are:

  1. 14 grams or more is a 1st degree felony, with a 3-year prison and $50,000 fine mandatory minimum
  2. 28 grams or more is a 1st degree felony, with a 7-year and $100,000 mandatory minimum
  3. 200 grams or more is a 1st degree felony, with a 15-year and $250,000 mandatory minimum
  4. 400 grams or more of meth or other chemicals and equipment.  Also, if you know it may result in the death of any person it is a capital felony with a minimum $250,000 fine.

To follow are the maximum penalties you could face if found guilty of the possession, trafficking and manufacture of Meth described above:

Capital Felony — death or life imprisonment.
1st Degree Felony — up to 30 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine.
2nd Degree Felony — up to 15 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine.
3rd Degree Felony — up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $5,000 fine.

If you are charged with this very serious crime a criminal defense attorney will be able to help you make decisions regarding your case.  An attorney will also speak for you in court.  Defense attorneys do not judge you, they defend you.  In some cases an attorney may be able to have the penalties reduced from the maximum to a minimum sentence for Meth.  Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you are facing these serious charges.

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