Drug-related offenses include but are not limited to:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Sale or delivery of a controlled substance
- Trafficking in illegal drugs
- Possession of a drug without a prescription
- Sale or delivery of a counterfeit substance
The State of Florida views drugs as a direct cause of most criminal activity in Florida.
And because of the correlation of drug use and criminal activity, the penalties for drug crimes increase exponentially based upon the quantity of drugs involved and their intended use.
Possession of most controlled substances specified by Florida state laws, except for the medical use of marijuana through a doctor’s recommendation may be charged as a felony. The Florida legislature also recently added bath salts and “Spice” to the list of banned substances. State law allows a first-degree misdemeanor charge for simple possession of cannabis — marijuana — in an amount less than twenty grams (unless it is legally obtained for medical use).
The charge of “possession with intent to sell” includes all legal elements of simple possession, but also requires proof of the defendant’s intent to sell or distribute the drugs. The specific charge depends on the type of controlled substance involved in the crime. For example, a state prosecutor may bring a third-degree felony charge for marijuana possession with intent to sell. In contrast, possession of cocaine with intent to sell may be charged as a second-degree felony.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Florida, possession of the herb without a valid license (or possession of any other controlled substance) still carries a heavy penalty upon conviction. If you’re charged with a drug possession crime in Florida, it’s in your best interest to contact our drug crime defense team and we’ll explain the charges and help you plan your defense.
It comes down to the amount you’re caught with…
Commonly drug trafficking has little to do with whether you are selling, purchasing or delivering an illegal substance. Simple possession of an illegal drug can lead to a criminal drug trafficking charge if the weight of the substance reaches, or exceeds, certain statutory limits.
You may be charged with trafficking if you possess, sell, deliver or purchase illegal drugs, including prescription drugs if it is determined that the amount is over a certain weight limit. The type of drug and the amount determines the range of possible penalties and whether you are facing the severe minimum mandatory prison sentences that are required upon conviction in the state of Florida. Some of the more common trafficking charges are outlined below.
- 25 pounds, less than 2,000 pounds or 300 to less than 2,000 cannabis plants – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 3 years and $25,000 fine
- 2,000 pounds to less than 10,000 pounds or 2,000 to less than 10,000 cannabis plants – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 7 years and $50,000 fine
- 10,000 pounds or more or 10,000 plants or more – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and $200,000 fine
Trafficking Oxycodone, Morphine, Heroin, Opium, Hydrocodone, Hydro morphine:
- 4-14 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence 3 years and $25,000 fine
- 14-28 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 7 years and $50,000 fine
- 28 grams – 30 kilograms – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and $200,000 fine
- 30 kilograms or more – mandatory life in prison
- 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 3 years and $50,000 fine
- 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 7 years and $100,000 fine
- 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and $250,000 fine
- 150 kilograms or more – mandatory life in prison
Trafficking in Methamphetamine:
- 14-28 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 3 years and $50,000 fine
- 28-200 grams – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 7 years and $100,000 fine
- 200 grams or more – minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and $250,000 fine
If you have lawfully obtained the prescription and the medication that you possess is, in fact, the same prescription drug that you were prescribed, you should not be prosecuted. If you are arrested for this type of drug possession and have proof that you are prescribed the medication, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can provide the prosecuting agency with that proof to avoid the filing of formal charges. However, if you have been arrested for a drug that does not match your prescription and the total weight of that medication is over a certain amount, you can and likely will be charged with trafficking.
A proactive approach to drug crie defense is necessary and we will work to make sure your case is handled quickly and the best possible outcome is reached.
Florida’s drug laws are particularly severe because of the state’s prime location for drug trafficking. If you are facing a charge of drug possession or drug trafficking, the repercussions of being convicted may be irreversible. You will need the most qualified Florida drug attorney possible to handle your case. Call us now at 727.531.2926
Our attorneys can help you discover a viable defense that may not be immediately apparent ranging from:
- Unlawful Search and Seizure
- Drugs Belong to Someone Else
- Crime Lab Analysis
- Missing Drugs
- Drugs were Planted
- Medical Marijuana Exception
There are many defenses to drug charges. Actual innocence, lack of knowledge, lack of possession, mistaken identity and entrapment are just some defenses that can be explored.