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Johnson v. State

Florida Supreme Court
602 So. 2d 1288 (Fla. 1992)

Johnson v. State


At the time of this case, delivering a controlled substance to a minor child was a crime under section 893.12(1)(c)(1) of Florida’s general drug statute. Jennifer Johnson (defendant), who gave birth to a son in 1987 and a daughter in 1989, admitted that she had used cocaine during both pregnancies and specifically stated that she had used cocaine on the day before her son’s birth and on the morning of her daughter’s birth. The State of Florida (plaintiff) charged Johnson with two counts under section 893.12(1)(c)(1), on the theory that “delivery” occurred when the cocaine passed through the umbilical cord to the child during the 60 to 90 seconds between delivery and the cutting of the cord. Johnson was convicted on both counts and appealed her convictions. The appellate court certified to the Florida Supreme Court the question of whether a mother's ingestion of a controlled substance knowing the substance will pass to her child after birth constituted a violation of Florida law.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Harding, J.)

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