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Florida House bill seeks stiffer penalties for drug trafficking

Several states in the U.S. have recently had an increase in deaths due to opioid overdose. In Florida, the House has passed a bill that places a great deal of the responsibility for those deaths on those accused of drug trafficking. The bill was voted for unanimously and includes charges of first-degree murder for the trafficker in a case where a drug user dies from an overdose.

The bill also places the drug fentanyl, as well as other synthetic illegal substances, on the same level as heroin within the drug trafficking statute of Florida. A spokesperson for the House said that the members wish to send the traffickers a clear message. Under this bill, those convicted on drug trafficking charges would be charged with murder if anyone they sold drugs to died from an overdose.

The bill also makes it a felony for anyone to be in possession of certain synthetic drugs in the amount of 10 grams and up. Of course, many see this as a problem, as the state's already crowded prison population will drastically increase. Those facing drug trafficking charges could see longer prison times under such a bill.

Florida's House also passed a bill that restricts how painkillers are prescribed and demands that pharmacists send daily reports of the dispensing of controlled substances. For those accused of drug trafficking, these bills could be significant to their cases. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help guide the client through the legal system, and either prove his or her innocence or seek out the lightest sentence possible for his or her crime.

Source: usf.edu, "House Cracking Down On Fentanyl, Drug Trafficking", April 21, 2017

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