Drug manufacturing or cultivation in Florida are complicated drug crimes that do not have their own statutes. Rather, they are added to drug possession offenses, which also include intent to sell and distribute. Depending on the nature of the case, drug manufacturing charges in St. Petersburg can be federal crimes and can include other underlying federal offenses. For a free review of your case, contact the criminal defense firm of Goldman Wetzel at 727-828-3900.
Drug manufacturing is addressed in two different sections of the Florida Criminal Code: § 893.13 and § 893.135. The first states that it is illegal to “sell, manufacture, (cultivate – § 893.13(1)(a)), or deliver a controlled substance.” If the controlled substance amount is greater than what the statutes say are “for personal use,” defendants can be charged with a drug trafficking offense under § 839.135. It is also a felony to possess any chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance unlawfully [Fla. Stat. § 893.149].
What this means is that offenders could face two (or more) felony charges that together could send them to jail for many years. So the defense is twofold: convincing the jury that you are not a drug trafficker and, if possible, convincing the jury that you are not manufacturing drugs or growing marijuana.
To bring a conviction of cultivation or manufacture of a controlled substance in Florida, the prosecution must prove either of the following elements:
- You manufactured/cultivated a controlled substance (marijuana, LSD, heroin, PCP, methamphetamine, cocaine, etc.)
- You had knowledge of the presence of the controlled substance you are charged with manufacturing or cultivating
Florida Penalties for Drug Manufacturing Charges in St. Petersburg
The least serious drug manufacturing offense (for example, up to one gram of LSD , up to 14 grams of amphetamines or up to 24 cannabis plants) is a third-degree felony and is punishable by no more than five years in state prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
The more ominous second-degree felony manufacturing/cultivation offense in Florida is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of this charge reflect manufacture/cultivation of the following:
- Up to 14 grams of methamphetamine
- Up to 4 grams of an opiate (heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, opium, codeine)
- Up to 4 grams of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol or “roofies”)
- Up to 1 kilogram of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
- Up to 28 grams of PCP (angel dust)
- 25 or more cannabis plants
If you are also convicted of trafficking charges (which is a first-degree felony), depending on which and the quantity of drugs you were convicted of manufacturing/cultivating, penalties can range from mandatory prison sentences that range from three to 15 years, and fines from $50,000 to $500,000.
Enhancements that impact any drug manufacturing and cultivation penalty include this activity in proximity to a public school (K-12), public or private university, public housing project, church or legal place of worship, a “convenience” business (7-11, etc.), or involving a minor under 16 years of age. [Fla. Stat. § 775.082 – .084]
Federal Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation Laws
Federal drug possession offenses are prosecuted under 21 U.S. Code § 841 (Parts A, B and C). And like Florida, federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I (highest threat) controlled substance, along with LSD and heroin. Depending on the facts of the case, any manufacture or cultivation charges can result in a first-degree felony with prison sentences ranging from a statutory minimum of five years to life. As mentioned earlier, depending on the circumstances of the offense, additional penalties await a suspect who is charged with underlying federal crimes of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute [18 U.S.C. § 371], money laundering [18 U.S. Code § 1956] and tax evasion [26 U.S. Code § 7201].
As you can see, a Florida or federal charge of drug manufacturing, cultivating or any other drug possession or trafficking offense is a very serious matter. The drug crime lawyers at Goldman Wetzel can help you mount a defense against these charges in the St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Bradenton areas. Contact us at 727-828-3900 or fill out our online contact form.