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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Explaining Florida Fentanyl Charges

Explaining Florida Fentanyl Charges


In recent years, the synthetic opiate fentanyl has become a more popular drug among dealers and traffickers, due to its potency (as much as 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control [CDC]). There are many misconceptions surrounding fentanyl’s uses and properties, but regardless of misinformation and propaganda, it is crucial to understand that being caught with fentanyl can result in serious charges – and long prison sentences.

Legal vs Illegal Fentanyl

Fentanyl is used legally as a painkiller, most often for cancer patients and others in palliative care. That said, legal fentanyl has a very different profile than most illegal forms of the drug, which are often cut with other substances like cocaine or methamphetamine. Most fentanyl-related overdose cases come from illegal fentanyl – some from people unaware that whatever drug they purchased was laced with fentanyl.

While fentanyl overdoses are very serious, it is important to be aware that many stories bruited about in recent months are either exaggerated or incomplete. For example, a Tavares law enforcement officer allegedly suffered an overdose after “being exposed to fentanyl” in December 2022 – but medical professionals state that it is all but impossible for most illegal fentanyl (which comes in powder form) to pass through the skin. If you are charged with possession of fentanyl, know that the likelihood of being blamed for a skin-based ‘overdose’ is extremely unlikely.

Take Charges Seriously

If you have been charged with possession of fentanyl, know that Florida aggressively prosecutes drug cases, regardless of the substance involved – in general, the greater the amount involved, the more serious the charge. The schedule of the substance is taken into account, but it is less of a deciding factor in which offense would be most appropriate to charge. Fentanyl is a Schedule II drug, meaning that while it has accepted medical uses, it also has a very high potential for abuse.

In general, possession of fentanyl is charged as a third-degree felony, though it may raise or lower depending on the factors involved in the case. Fentanyl possession may also morph into a trafficking charge if the amount you are stopped with is sufficient – possession of over 4 grams of the substance will be taken as evidence of your intent to sell or distribute the drug, regardless of your intent to actually do so. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the legal process.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney

Fentanyl is a drug with the potential to do serious harm, even if some of the stories about it are not entirely accurate. If you have been charged with fentanyl-related offenses, contacting a West Palm Beach drug possession attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help to protect your rights as you go through the justice system. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.



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