The consequences of felony drug convictions in Florida

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Felony convictions come with severe consequences. The impact on your current and future life depends on the nature of the sentence you received. It goes beyond permanent criminal records and jail time. A felony conviction can negatively affect your ability to find housing and employment and take out federal loans.

Exclusion from SNAP and TANF benefits

In over half of the states, individuals with drug charges continue to be ineligible for crucial public benefits. In 1996, welfare reform imposed a lifetime ban on SNAP and TANF eligibility for those with drug felony convictions.

Although states can opt out of or modify these bans, only 25 have opted out. Some states have implemented counterproductive modifications that closely resemble an outright prohibition.

Lost civic and civil rights

Once you’re convicted of a drug felony, you forfeit your right to hold public office, vote or vie for an office. However, you can regain your voting rights after completing the time served in prison and paying all fines.

A drug felony conviction can also impact your arm’s bearing rights under the Second Amendment. Once you’re convicted of a crime, you cannot possess an ammo or a gun.


Every drug-related crime in Florida has its penalty and specific jail terms. For example, possessing drugs with the intent to sell can lead to a severe sentence, including life imprisonment. Trafficking of illegal drugs like fentanyl and cocaine has mandatory minimum prison sentences.

Manufacturing of illegal drugs can attract serious penalties, including a lifetime in jail. These penalties may differ depending on the drug type and quantity involved. Working with a drug criminal defense attorney clarifies charges and possible consequences.

Driver’s license suspension

The court will suspend your driving privileges for a given period if convicted of DUI. You can also lose your driver’s license even when the felony is not motor vehicle-related. Florida imposes an automatic suspension of driving privileges for certain drug-related offenses.

Florida’s drug offense penalties hinge on factors like drug quantity and case specifics. Knowing the charges and possible penalties helps to craft effective defense strategies.