TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida had hundreds of bills pass during the 2022 legislative session, approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis. One of the laws that was set to start later in the year, instead of upon being signed into law, and will be in effect at the start of October adds further penalties for crimes involving fentanyl and other drugs.

House Bill 95, titled “Controlled substances” takes effect on Oct. 1. Under the bill’s provisions, prison times and crime levels, such as felony designations, are upgraded or lengthened. It targets crimes related to fentanyl, a drug which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is responsible for the biggest increase in deaths for those 18 to 45 in years, leading to a 30% increase in overdose deaths.

Specifically, HB 95 adds that premeditated murder “when committed by a person engaged in perpetration of” trafficking methamphetamine will now be included in the list of felonies laid out in the Florida Statutes. Murder while trafficking drugs like cocaine, opium, methadone, Alefntanil, Carfentanil, Fentanyl, and Sufentanil, as well as controlled substance analogs, were already felonious crimes.

Additionally, anyone 18 or older who causes someone’s death through carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated stalking, murder, aggravated fleeing or eluding arrest with serious bodily injury or death, resisting an officer with violence, or felony acts of terrorism, while distributing any of the state’s enumerated substances will face charges for murder in the third degree, a second-degree felony.

The new law also adds that selling, making, delivering, or possessing controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a mental health facility will result in a $500 fine and 100 hours of public service, in addition to other legal penalties.

Those in possession of or selling drugs that include between 4 and 14 grams of fentanyl will face charges of “trafficking in dangerous fentanyl or fentanyl analogues” in Florida could face first-degree felony charges, with mandatory minimum jail times of seven years and fines of $50,000. If the amount of fentanyl is 14 to 28 grams, the minimum sentence will be raised to 20 years and those convicted will have to pay a $100,000 fine.

If the amount of fentanyl mixed in with other substances is higher than 28 grams, those charged face a minimum of 25 years in prison and will be ordered to pay a fine of $500,000.

These changes are made to add penalties to already-existent drug regulations in the Florida Statutes.