Unlawful sale, trafficking, or possession of flunitrazepam is a serious felony crime in Florida, punishable by imprisonment and substantial fines. Sold under the brand name Rohypnol (street name: roofies), flunitrazepam is a powerful sedative that doctors used to prescribe as a short-term treatment for insomnia. When mixed with alcohol, it induces severe amnesia and becomes extremely dangerous. This type of benzodiazepine, popularized in Hollywood with movies such as The Hangover, has earned a reputation as the “date rape drug.”
If you have been charged with possession or sale of flunitrazepam, you will want to consult a lawyer straightaway. The potential penalties can devastate your future if you are convicted. The punishment you face largely depends on the amount of the substance found in your possession. Below, we review the basic penalties for possession, sale, and trafficking of flunitrazepam.
To speak to a defense lawyer in Florida that handles all types of drug charges, call Goldman Wetzel now at 727-828-3900.
Penalties for Simple Possession of Flunitrazepam in Florida
Per Florida Statute § 893.03, flunitrazepam is a Schedule I drug in Florida. Schedule I drugs are the strongest, most dangerous, most habit forming controlled substances.
When officers find you with a small quantity of flunitrazepam in your possession, the state will likely charge you with simple possession as per Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a). Actual or constructive possession of flunitrazepam is a third-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison; and a
- $5,000 fine.
Penalties for Sale/Intent to Sell of Flunitrazepam in Florida
If the prosecutor determines that you were selling, manufacturing, delivering, or intending to sell flunitrazepam, your penalties will escalate. Sale/intent to sell flunitrazepam is a second-degree felony in Florida.
- Up to 15 years in prison; and a
- $10,000 fine.
Note: If you were selling the drug on or within 1,000 feet a childcare facility, a school, a community park, or a rec center, the offense is a first-degree felony with a minimum prison sentence of three years. (More on basic penalties for first-degree felonies below.)
Penalties for Flunitrazepam Trafficking in Florida
When officers find you with four grams or more of flunitrazepam, the prosecutor will charge you with trafficking, a much more serious offense. Florida Statute § 893.135(g)(1) provides:
Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, four grams or more of flunitrazepam or any mixture containing flunitrazepam… commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as ‘trafficking in flunitrazepam’.
First degree felonies are typically punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Because legislatures consider flunitrazepam trafficking as a very serious crime, a conviction carries a minimum prison sentence and increased fines. The exact terms and mandatory depend on the amount of the substance:
- At least four grams but less than 14 grams: mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of $50,000
- At least 14 grams but less than 28 grams: mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and a fine of $100,000
- At least 28 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms: mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years and a fine of $500,000
- 30 kilograms or more: life imprisonment without parole
Additional Consequences to Consider for Drug-related Convictions
In addition to serving prison time and paying fines and court costs, when you are convicted of flunitrazepam charges — even simple possession — there are residual consequences to consider.
The judge may order you to take substance abuse classes; you could have to serve a term of probation or house arrest after you are released from prison; and you might lose your driver’s license.
Also, if you hold a professional license (such as a state license to practice as a pharmacist or counselor), you will likely lose it; if you are in college, you might get expelled.
A conviction could mean the loss of your job and loss of your community standing, and could affect your relationships/marriage. If you are a single parent, a conviction could cost you custody of or visitation privileges with your children. And the charges will stay on your criminal record permanently.
The penalties of flunitrazepam possession, sale, and trafficking charges are severe. It is critical to secure an attorney to staunchly defend your case to minimize your penalties or perhaps get the case dismissed altogether.
What are the potential defenses against flunitrazepam charges?
There are various strategies and defenses that we can use in drug possession/sale cases. When you work with Goldman Wetzel, we will review the specifics of your case and determine the best approach. Below are just a few examples of defenses that we might be able to use:
- The flunitrazepam found in your possession (e.g., car or home) was not yours.
- The substance was not actually flunitrazepam. (A crime lab analysis might reveal otherwise.)
- The officer did not correctly read you your Miranda rights.
- Someone planted the drugs.
- Officers collected the evidence against you in an unlawful search and seizure.
- You were wrongly induced to commit a crime (entrapment by law enforcement).
- The prosecutor failed to secure the evidence against you. (The state must be able to show the court the drugs they found in your possession as evidence. It is not unheard of for authorities to lose evidence in transit.)
If you have been charged with a felony drug offense, know that you may have a valid defense readily available that is not immediately apparent. Our defense team will investigate the facts of your charges, look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and devise a plan to move forward.
Goldman Wetzel Can Fight for Your Best Interests
Goldman Wetzel has a long history of representing defendants who have been charged with various types of drug-related charges in Florida, including flunitrazepam possession/sale cases. We will protect your rights during the criminal process, represent you during the hearings, and help you make educated decisions about your case.
Contact our office today at 727-828-3900 to speak with a drug crime defense attorney.