Criminal Defense, Drug Charge, Legal Blog, Marijuana

Florida Drug Schedules

Florida Statute 893.03 categorizes controlled substances into different schedules: Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. 

Pursuant to the statute, the drug schedules are as follows:

Schedule I: Schedule I drugs are controlled substances with a high potential for abuse and/or addiction and no legally accepted medical use. Substances in Schedule I include, but are not limited to: heroin, ecstasy, cannabis, mescaline, LSD, and peyote.

Schedule II: Schedule II drugs are controlled substances that also have a high potential for abuse/addiction but have severely restricted medical use. Substances in Schedule II include, but are not limited to: cocaine, codeine, hydrocodone, methadone, methamphetamine, morphine, opium, and oxycodone.

Schedule III: Schedule III drugs are controlled substances that have less potential for abuse and addition, and have accepted medical use. Substances in Schedule III include, but are not limited to: vicodin, ketamine, anabolic steroids including testosterone (but not including estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids), and medicines with less than 1.8 grams of codeine per 100 milliliters, or with less than 300 milligrams of hydrocodone per 100 milliliters, or less than 50 milligrams of morphine per 100 milliliters.

Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs are controlled substances with low potential for abuse or addiction but are mildly addictive when abused, and that have accepted medical use. Substances in Schedule IV include, but are not limited to: alprazolam (xanax), diazepam, and muscle relaxants.

Schedule V: Schedule V drugs are controlled substances with low potential for abuse and with accepted medical use. Substances in Schedule V include, but are not limited to: low amounts of codeine and stimulants.  

A complete listing of the substances in each schedule can be found in Florida Statute 893.03. Additionally, the potential penalties for unlawful possession of the various drugs can be found in Florida Statute 893.13. 

Anyone who is facing drug charges in Palm Beach County should contact a criminal defense attorney, as the penalties can be severe, depending on the amount and type of controlled substance allegedly possessed.


Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.

Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Marijuana

Marijuana Muffin Arrest

In recent news, two roommates were arrested in Florida after an anonymous tip from Crime Stoppers led police to their apartment. When detectives arrived, they could allegedly smell a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the apartment. Based upon that, the detectives were able to detain the roommates and obtain a search warrant for the apartment. While searching the apartment, the police allegedly found pot muffins, batter, a marijuana plant, and loose marijuana,  in addition to a grinder and marijuana smoking devices (presumably bongs or pipes). The roommates were arrested and charged, among other things, with possession of marijuana under 20 grams violation of Florida Statute 893.13, and possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of Florida Statute 893.145.

As rehashed (no pun intended) in my prior blogs on the issue of marijuana laws in Florida (found HERE and HERE), Florida has NOT legalized recreational marijuana use. Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia charges are actively being prosecuted in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. Even the new Florida Marijuana law called the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” or “Charlotte’s Web,” (which legalizes medical prescribed cannabis oil for very limited and severe medical issues), does NOT legalize edible cannabis products, such as pot cookies, weed brownies, marijuana muffins, or cannabis candy. Possession of marijuana, regardless of the form, in an amount of 20 grams or less can be charged as misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in county jail, fines, and a driver’s license suspension. Possession of drug paraphernalia (including, but not limited to: grinders, scales, and pipes) is also still a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.

One last note of importance: the odor of marijuana coming from someone’s doorway is enough evidence for police to obtain a search warrant, as seen in this case. Further, the police are lawfully allowed to detain a person until the search warrant is executed in order to prevent that person from destroying the potential evidence inside the home.

Marijuana charges are serious in Florida, regardless of whether the marijuana was baked in a muffin or was still a plant. Anyone who finds themselves facing marijuana charges should contact a knowledgeable Criminal Defense attorney.


Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.

Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Marijuana

Consent to Search – Grow Houses

In Miami, there was recently an interesting case regarding a marijuana hydroponics grow operation. In the case, the defendant was arrested after police searched his home and discovered a hydroponic marijuana farming business in his garage. Detectives had received an anonymous tip that marijuana was being grown in the defendant’s home. Seven (7) police officers showed up at the defendant’s home early in the morning to search for the grow house. The seven officers were comprised of four detectives, one sergeant, and two uniformed officers, all with marked police cars. They arrived at the defendant’s house to perform what is referred to as a “knock and talk,” which is basically a police tactic used by officers who do not yet have enough evidence to place someone under arrest, and is usually used in drug cases. During a “knock and talk,” the police knock on a suspect’s door and hope that the suspect will answer, start talking, and give the police enough incriminating information to arrest him. During the “knock and talk” in this case, the defendant answered the door, allowed the officers to come into the house, and cooperated with whatever the officers asked of him. The officers testified that they smelled the odor of marijuana as soon as the door was opened. The officers read the defendant Miranda warnings, the defendant signed a consent to search, and the officers then walked around the defendant’s home and ultimately discovered the marijuana grow house in the defendant’s garage. They placed him under arrest for having a hydroponic operation/grow house under Florida Statute 893.135.

After reviewing the basic facts of that case, one might come to believe that the defendant was merely acquiescing to authority. There were seven police officers, presumably all with their full gear and weapons visible, all with marked police cars, knocking on the defendant’s door at the same time asking to search his house. Some might think that is a coercive situation, and that any consent to search must have been involuntary. Many people believe that when a police officer asks them to do something, they have to do it. Imagine if there were seven officers standing there, waiting for the person to agree!  The defendant filed a Motion to Suppress in his case, arguing just that. However, the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, Florida found that the search of the defendant’s home was lawful and consensual, and ruled that the defendant was not coerced into agreeing to the search.

The court stated that when the police read to the defendant his Miranda warnings, they advised the defendant that he had the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to end the encounter with the police at any time. The defendant never ended the encounter or asked for a lawyer. Instead, he cooperated. Further, the court stated that the fact that seven police officers were on scene was not enough to find that the defendant was overpowered and felt compelled to do as he was asked. The court found that it is reasonable for seven officers to investigate a narcotics tip, and because they never made any shows of authority (such as taking out their guns, or handcuffing the defendant), there was no issue.

This case provides an extremely important lesson regarding police encounters. Police officers who are conducting “knock and talks” do so because they do not have enough evidence to arrest. When people open their doors to police officers during knock and talks, they risk giving the officers enough evidence to obtain a warrant without even doing anything further. The odor of marijuana emanating from someone’s doorway is enough for police to go to a judge and get a warrant to come back and search the house. Even if there is no noticeable odor of marijuana, if people consent to the police entering their home and searching, police will do exactly that and continue to search until they find something to arrest.

People do not have to allow officers into their homes. People do not have to consent to searches. Although being confronted by a police officer may be intimidating, people should not simply acquiesce to the officer’s authority and do whatever he says. It is important for everyone to know and understand their rights.

When an officer reads Miranda warnings, he will say the following:

  • You have the right to remain silent when questioned.
  • Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer any questions now, without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
  • Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?

A person who is being read those rights should pay attention and invoke them or risk giving the police enough evidence to place them under arrest, or more evidence to strengthen the State Attorney’s case.

Drug charges can have extremely serious consequences, and they are heavily prosecuted in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. Anyone facing drug charges should contact a knowledgeable attorney to review the case and determine a defense strategy.


Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.