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Possession of Heroin

Heroin has a long history in American culture starting off as a cough suppressant in the 19th century. Over the years, the substance has gained a reputation as one of the most dangerous and addictive legal drugs on the street. Despite stringent laws against possession, the prevalence of heroin in Florida remains. It was recorded by the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau that drug overdose deaths related to heroin doubled from 2016 to 2017.

Since heroin is such a high-risk drug it’s classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under both federal and state law. Since it’s classified under the highest schedules the penalties for possessing heroin are incredibly harsh. A conviction could result in years in prison and thousand-dollar fines. If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin possession, then it’s within your best interest to retain an attorney. 

Heroin Possession Defense Lawyers in Gainesville, Florida

Most people suffering with a heroin addiction are simply victims of a terrible physical and psychological disease. They don’t need a jail cell, but instead need rehabilitative services designed for drug abuse. If you’ve been arrested with heroin possession or any other drug-related offense, it’s crucial you get in touch with an experienced Gainesville drug defense lawyer like the attorneys s at Galigani Law Firm.  

The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm have over 30 years of collective experience dedicated to defending their clients of all types of crimes including drug offenses. You can set up your first consultation free of charge by calling their office at (352) 375-0812. Galigani Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Alachua County area including Gainesville, Alachua, Hawthorne, Archer, Waldo, and Newberry. 

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Heroin Possession Laws in Florida

Heroin is a type of opiate that was created around 1805 by a French pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner. The substance was initially used as a type of pain medication and was often found in cough syrup. However, the United States saw a rise of misuse quickly after a few decades and decided to prohibit it entirely by 1924. Florida follows these laws and they transcribed in our own statutes under Section 893.3(6)(a). 

The statute states it’s illegal to be in actual or constructive possession of heroin at any time. Actual possession is when the heroin is found on the offender’s person. For instance, if you were arrested because heroin was in their purse, they’d be in actual possession.

Constructive possession, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. The prosecutor has to prove multiple elements to charge a person with constructive possession. These elements are as follows:

  • The offender knew of the controlled substance’s presence
  • The offender exercised control or ownership over the drug
  • The substance was identified as heroin

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Is Possession of Heroin a Felony or Misdemeanor?

The penalties for possessing heroin can be found under section 893.13(6)(c) of the Florida Statutes. It’s classified as a third-degree felony and can result in the following sentence: 

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Driver’s license revoked for one year

Possessing four or more grams of heroin is a first-degree felony under Florida law. The maximum sentence a person can receive for a first-degree felony is up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Heroin Trafficking

While possessing heroin is illegal, the penalties for trafficking it are life changing. Law enforcement will often charge someone with drug trafficking if they discover a large quantity of heroin. The standard for trafficking is so low, that having just four grams could result in a charge for selling or manufacturing heroin. Listed below are the penalties for trafficking heroin in the state of Florida.


Controlled Substance



Prison Sentence


4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams


Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams


Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms


Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison

30 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release 


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Additional Resources

Heroin Laws in Florida – Visit the official website of the Florida Statutes to read up on their laws for heroin possession, sale, manufacture, or delivery. Access the site to learn the penalties, aggravating factors, drug-free zones, and other important information.

Heroin | National Drug Intelligence Center – Visit the official website for the National Drug and Intelligence Center (NDIC) to learn more about heroin. Access the site to read facts about abuse of heroin, violence related to heroin, how it’s made, and its availability in the U.S.

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Drug Defense Attorney for Heroin Crimes in Gainesville, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin possession, sale, or manufacturing, then it’s imperative you contact Galigani Law Firm. Our attorneys have over 30 collective years of drug defense experience we can apply for your case. Don’t wait another moment to secure your future and call the attorneys at Galigani Law Firm today.

Galigani Law Firm can be reached at (352) 375-0812 for your first initial consultation. Galigani Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Alachua County and Gainesville area.

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Galigani Law Firm proudly serves Gainesville and surrounding areas of
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