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Florida law introduces new penalties for distributing fentanyl

In recent years, fentanyl has become increasingly common in the illegal drug market. Used in the medical field as a pain reliever for conditions like advanced cancer, the synthetic opioid pain reliever is a potent drug whose heroin-like effects can prove addictive and extremely dangerous when abused.

Florida sees rise in fentanyl use

Unfortunately, the United States has experienced a spike in fentanyl-related deaths. In 2017, fentanyl caused more than 28,000 deaths. Florida is no stranger to this growth in recreational use of the opioid.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Chief Forensic Officer Mary Jane Havener revealed that before the rise, she had only seen one or two cases involving fentanyl each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that now, more than 100 cases of fentanyl confiscation occur in Florida every year. And those numbers are drastically growing.

To combat the rise in the possession, distribution and abuse of fentanyl over these past years, the government is cracking down.

Penalties of fentanyl distribution

The penalties of merely possessing fentanyl are harsh. When you possess with the intent to distribute, however, you can face even longer jail time, probation and more expensive fines. Not to mention, the number of offenses on your record can also affect the severity of your consequences.

A recent Florida law can add to these penalties. If your distribution causes an overdose of fentanyl that leads to death, you may be charged with murder of the first degree. If this is the case, you could face life in prison with no option for parole.

Don't let a drug charge dictate your future

Facing drug charges can be confusing and overwhelming. A drug conviction can have life-changing consequences. When dealing with such a serious issue, it is important to contact an experienced attorney. If you would like to learn more, check out our page on drug charges.

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