Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility in Florida

In Florida, it is illegal to introduce contraband into a county detention facility (jail) [1] or a state prison. [2]

If accused of Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility, you need to know the:

Definition of Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility

Under Florida Statutes 951.22 and 944.47, the crime of Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility is committed when a person:

  1. Knowingly introduces, possesses, or attempts to introduce or possess, contraband;
  2. That is intended for an inmate; and
  3. Did not do so through authorized procedures.

Contraband

Contraband is defined as any of the following classes of items:

  1. Written or recorded communications or currency;
  2. Articles of food or clothing;
  3. Intoxicating beverages;
  4. Controlled substances or non-prescription drugs that causes a hypnotic, stimulating, or depressing effect;
  5. Firearms, weapons of any kind, or explosive substances; and
  6. Cellular telephones or portable communication devices.

Penalties for Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility

The penalties for Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility differ depending on whether the correctional facility was a a county or state facility and on the type of contraband introduced.

Introduction of Contraband into a County Correctional Facility

Introduction of Contraband into a County Correctional Facility is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 3 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Introduction of Contraband into a County Correctional Facility, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

Introduction of Contraband into a State Correctional Facility

Introduction of Contraband into a State Correctional Facility is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 4 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Introduction of Contraband into a County Correctional Facility, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

Introduction of a Firearm, Weapon, or Explosive into a State Correctional Facility

Introduction of a Firearm, Weapon, or Explosive into a State Correctional Facility is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 6 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Introduction of a Firearm, Weapon, or Explosive into a State Correctional Facility, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 21 months in prison and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
  • Up to fifteen (15) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility are:

  1. Unknowning Introduction

Unknowning Introduction

To introduce contraband into a jail or prison, a person must know that they have contraband on their person. As such, it is a defense to Introduction of Contraband if a person was unaware that the contraband was on his person. [3]

A typical example would be when a person has been arrested and during the booking process a small bag of cocaine is found in their pocket. If the person was unaware the bag was there, they could argue unknowing introduction of the contraband.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested for the crime of Introduction of Contraband into a Correctional Facility in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

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