Many readers in Florida know that our state suffers with high numbers of people who are involved in prescription drug crime. What they may not know is that the individuals who are accused of prescription drug crime and found guilty can be subject to minimum sentencing laws. These laws require that people spend time in jail. However, for at least some of them, that could be set to change.
According to a recent report, a part of the Florida legislature has approved a proposal that, if passed, could limit the use of mandatory sentencing for some prescription drug crimes. The crimes included would be the use of the prescription drugs. Now, those found to be using suffer similar sentences than those who engage in the trafficking of some drugs.
The proposed prescription drug crime law passed a Senate panel. Now, it will go to a larger portion of the legislature in an effort to gain passage. Before being signed into law, the proposal must face opposition from groups that include the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the State Attorneys of Florida. It may be some time before the final bill is sent to the governor for signature.
For those who are accused of a prescription drug crime in our state, the new changes could be important. Now, it is difficult for some to learn that they face a high degree of penalty as it relates to the crime that they are accused of committing. By providing for the exercise of discretion by judges discretion, some accused individuals may find that they are able to better fight for their innocence or a lesser punishment.
Source: sfgate.com, “Sentencing measure moves through Senate committee,” March 4, 2013