When you go into the hospital for surgery, one drug you may have been given is fentanyl. It is a painkiller and highly restricted. That’s why it’s such a big deal that its on the streets in Florida.
A May 5 report has discussed that stiffer penalties may be on the way for those found to be in possession of fentanyl. According to a state commission, this drug is responsible for more overdoses in the first half of 2016 than any other drug, including heroin or methamphetamine. It caused 704 people to overdose and pass away.
The county seeing the most trouble with fentanyl is Palm Beach County, where 156 people died taking this drug. Eighty-nine people died in Broward County. The new bill aims to reduce these deaths significantly. The bill sets a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for those accused of carrying four to 14 grams of the potent drug. For those with 14 to 28 grams, 15 years is the minimum prison sentence under the bill’s changes. Those carrying 28 grams or more face at least 25 years in prison.
The bill, which has passed the Florida Senate, also takes away a judge’s right to ignore the mandatory-minimum requirements, even in extraordinary cases. Additionally, the bill also allows those who deal fentanyl to face murder charges if the drug is illegally sold and someone dies because of taking it.
Bills like this have the potential to catch first-time users or those making a stupid mistake off guard, placing them in prison for the long-term. If you’re accused of possessing drugs, your attorney can help you defend yourself.
Source: SunSentinel, “Bill with tougher fentanyl penalties heads to Florida governor,” Ryan Van Velzer, May 05, 2017