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Narcotics / Drug Crimes

The state of Florida takes drug crimes very seriously and an individual can receive severe consequences if they are convicted of any drug charges in the Florida Panhandle.

Drug crimes, such as trafficking, purchase, sale, and possession, are serious offenses that can result in long-term mandatory prison sentences and large fines, in addition to many other penalties.

In Florida, the nature of the crime is not the only element that impacts possible punishment; the type of substance involved with the offense can also have a large impact on the alleged offender’s penalty. Some of the most commonly used substances in Florida drug offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine;
  • Crack;
  • Prescription Pills;
  • Medications;
  • Hydrocodone;
  • Heroin;
  • Narcotics;
  • Hallucinogens;
  • Depressants;
  • Methamphetamine; and/or
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD or Acid).

If you have been charged with a drug offense involving any controlled substance in the Florida Panhandle, it is essential to consult with an experienced drug defense attorney in South Walton and Destin who will help you craft your best defense.

DeFuniak Springs Drug Crimes Lawyer

Adkinson Law Firm, LLC defends clients accused of alleged drug or narcotics offenses throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola, and Panama City. The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in defending all areas of Florida’s drug crimes and will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a drug or narcotics offense throughout Destin and South Walton.


Destin Drug Crimes Information Center


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Common Drug Crimes in Destin

The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which is codified in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, contains the most common drug crimes and defines the penalties for a controlled substance conviction in the Florida Panhandle. Prohibited drug acts can include:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance, Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6) — An individual can be charged with this offense if they possess any narcotic, drug or controlled substance without a legitimate prescription.
  • Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Fla. Stat. § 893.147 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they use or possess with the intent to use any type of drug paraphernalia in order to plant, cultivate, conceal, grow, contain, pack, prepare or process any controlled substance, or in order to ingest, inhale, inject or introduce any controlled substance into the human body. This offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Drug Trafficking, Fla. Stat. § 893.13 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they possess, sell or deliver a large quantity or weight of any controlled substance, drug or narcotic. Most individuals charged with this offense have not necessarily sold or manufactured the substance; they merely possessed a quantity large enough to indicate drug trafficking. Additionally, many trafficking offenses arise when the alleged offender brings controlled substances into and out of the state of Florida.
  • Possession with Intent to Sell, Fla. Stat. § 893.13(1) — An individual can be charged with this offense if they have a controlled substance, illegal drug or narcotic in their possession and intent to sell, manufacture or deliver the substance.
  • Drug Manufacturing, Fla. Stat. § 893.13(1) — An individual can be charged with this offense if they produce, create or manufacture a controlled substance, illegal drug or narcotic. This offense can possibly result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
  • Prescription Drug Charges — An individual can be charged with these offenses if they purchase, sell, possess, deliver or manufacture any prescription medication without a valid prescription. This offense can also involve “doctor shopping,” where the alleged offender goes to several doctors, pain clinics, pharmacies or “pill mills” to have the same prescription filled numerous times.

Often, drug charges can result in either federal or state charges or both federal and state charges if numerous transactions are alleged against the individual or if the quantity of the substance is very large.


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Florida’s Schedule of Drugs

Florida’s law requires all controlled substances, medications, prescription pills, drugs, natural substances, chemicals and man-made substances be classified into different schedules that are used determine the applicable penalties for various drug offenses. The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act provides for five different schedules, ranging from substances with the highest potential for abuse and little or no known medical purpose in Schedule I to substances with the least likelihood of abuse and commonly used medical applications in Schedule V.  

Examples of substances in each schedule are listed below.

  • Schedule I — LSD, Acid, GHB, MDMA, Ecstasy, Bath Salts, Cathinone, Cannabis, Marijuana, Heroin, Magic Mushrooms, Psilocybin, Mescaline and Methadone
  • Schedule II — Methamphetamines (meth), Opiates, Morphine, Opium, Cocaine, Pure Codeine and Pure Hydrocodone
  • Schedule III — Anabolic Steroids, Vicodin, and Lortab (combination hydrocodone and ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Schedule IV — Xanax and Valium
  • Schedule V — Medications with small amounts of codeine or hydrocodone and additional active ingredients

Substances in Schedule I typically result in higher degree felony convictions and lengthier prison sentences and fines. A conviction for a drug offense involving a Schedule V substance generally results in little or no jail or prison time and much smaller fines.


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Okaloosa County Drug Court

Individuals who have been charged with drug offenses in Okaloosa County and Escambia County may be eligible to be punished through a drug court, as opposed to the traditional sentences of jail or prison time and fines. The drug courts in Florida are provided for individuals who suffer from a drug or controlled substance addiction and have committed a criminal offense because of the addiction.

Individuals who are eligible for the program are those who have been charged with drug possession or purchasing controlled substances. They cannot have a history of engaging in violent crimes or have more than two previous non-felony drug convictions.

The drug court is typically at least 12 months long and involves drug and alcohol testing, treatment and rehabilitation services, and continuous interaction with the judicial system. Once the alleged offender successfully completes the program, their charges will be dismissed.


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South Walton Drug Crime Penalties

The basic statutory penalties a convicted misdemeanor or felony drug offender may face are classified in sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes. These penalties can increase based on any of the following:

  • Whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history;
  • The type of substance involved in the alleged offense;
  • What schedule the substance is classified in;
  • The amount of substance involved in the alleged offense;
  • Whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense; and/or
  • Whether the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury.

The statutory penalties and punishments for felony and misdemeanor drug offenses in the Florida Panhandle are listed below.

  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the second-degree drug offense can face a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the first-degree drug offense can face jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not more than $1,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the third-degree drug offense can face a prison sentence, not more than five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the second-degree drug offense can face a prison sentence, not more than 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the first-degree drug offense can receive a prison sentence up to 30 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a life felony drug offense can face a prison sentence up to 30 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $15,000.

Additionally, certain drug offenses may require mandatory minimum prison or jail sentence and/or increased fines.

If the alleged drug offense was committed in a certain location, the penalty for the underlying offense can be increased to the next highest degree of offense. Therefore, if the offense was originally punishable as a felony of the second degree, the offense can be increased to a felony of the first degree of it was committed in any of the following locations:

  • Public housing facilities;
  • Physical places of worship or where religious services are held;
  • Community centers;
  • Child care facilities;
  • Assisted living facilities;
  • State, county or municipal parks;
  • Publicly owned recreational facilities;
  • Public or private elementary, middle or secondary schools; and/or
  • Public or private college, university or postsecondary educational institutions.

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Destin Resources for Drug Crimes

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) – This national organization endorses alternatives to the nation’s current drug policies that are based on science, compassion, health and human rights. The DPA also promotes drug policies that are focused on reducing the harms of drug use, in addition to drug prohibition.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) – The SSDP is a national grassroots network comprised of students who aim to achieve sensible drug policies and combat the counterproductive policies of the War on Drugs in order to reduce the negative impact of drug abuse throughout the nation’s communities.

Drug Court in the Florida Panhandle – This link is to the First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida’s drug court programs in Escambia County and Okaloosa County. The programs were created as an alternative punishment to traditional forms of sentencing for drug crimes. The drug courts can be contacted at the following locations:

Escambia County Adult Drug Court
100 West Maxwell Street
Pensacola, Florida 32501
Phone: (850) 595-3055
 
Okaloosa County Adult Drug Court
Okaloosa County Courthouse
1940 Lewis Turner Boulevard
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547
Phone: (850) 609-4700

Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act – The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which is located in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, defines various drug offenses and the penalties a convicted drug offender could face in Florida. 

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – The NA is a national non-profit organization that helps individuals suffering from addictions to controlled substances or drugs meet and talk to other individuals recovering from substance abuse issues in order to help them on their road to recovery. Program and meeting locations in the Florida Panhandle can be found on this website.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – The DEA is a national governmental investigative and law enforcement agency that focuses on federal drug laws and penalties. This link is to penalties a convicted federal drug offender can face, which are generally harsher than state drug conviction penalties.


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Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Drug Charges Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges for an alleged narcotics or drug offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your alleged drug, narcotics or controlled substance offense.