Jacksonville Meth Lab Explodes and Two Dozen People Evacuated

The recent explosion of a meth lab at a south Jacksonville apartment complex has yielded no arrests, but forced two dozen people to evacuate after it left the apartment “completely demolished,” The Florida Times-Union reports.

Meth charges in Jacksonville and throughout Florida typically result in serious felony charges. And with the type of charge varying, so does the range of penalties. In some cases, a person can face simply probation or a short jail stay. However, this is most typical for other types of drugs. Authorities have taken a hard stand against meth. And as quantities increase and other factors play in to the decision making process, a person can quickly be facing years or decades in prison.Fending off the charges with an experienced Jacksonville Meth Defense Lawyer may mean the difference between a painfully long sentence and charges being dropped before trial or a potential not guilty verdict at trial. While all cases rest on their individual facts, hiring an experienced lawyer should be a suspect’s first priority.

According to the newspaper report, an evening explosion left four windows blown out and spewed shattered glass to the ground below. A few hours after the explosion, police entered the apartment and determined that a drug lab caused the explosion. No one was inside or injured.

Authorities were especially cautious to enter the building over concerns that there might be a second explosion. The newspaper reports that a man in his 20s, a pregnant woman and two large dogs lived in the apartment. No one was inside during the explosion.

Methamphetamine laboratories can make for dangerous living conditions, especially because law enforcement typically find these labs in tightly spaced buildings, such as apartment complexes, where may people can be affected by an explosion.

As such, methamphetamine is among a list of schedule II controlled substances as defined under Florida Statutes 893.03, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and has severely restricted medical use for treatment. Abuse of the drug can lead to psychological and physical dependence.

Florida Statutes 813.13 states that manufacturing the drug, delivering it and possessing it with the intent to sell to another is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

It’s obvious that these charges are serious and can send people to prison for long periods of time if suspects are convicted. In a case with an explosion, it must be proven that illegal drugs were, in fact, the cause. If there was an explosion, it’s possible and probably likely that much of the inside of the apartment was destroyed, including possible evidence against the people who lived there.

It may also be difficult to prove that drugs were inside the apartment, again, because of the explosion. While some people may believe a case like this one is black-and-white, most criminal cases fall squarely into the gray. That’s why letting an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney work the case is important.

Most people charged with a crime don’t understand the criminal justice system’s complexities and nuances and therefore aren’t able to adequately defend a case. But with years of experience, a law firm dedicated to the clients can ensure a suspect’s rights are upheld and that justice is done.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

Jacksonville Drug Crimes Carry Stiff Penalties; Require Experienced Defense Attorney: July 23, 2011
Additional Resources:

Jacksonville meth lab explosion: Nobody hurt, but no arrests yet, by Dana Treen, The Florida Times-Union