If you have recently been charged with a drug-related criminal offense in the State of Florida you are likely facing serious penalties, should you be convicted of the offense. The penalties you face are determined by the level of severity of the crime with which you are charged. Offenses involving possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, for example, are punishable by less time in jail or prison than offenses involving the manufacture, distribution, or sale of a large amount of a controlled substance. Possession, however, can be punishable by a lengthy prison term if the charge is possession with intent to sell in Florida.
Florida Statute 893.13 is where many of the state's controlled substance offenses can be found. Under the statute, possession with intent to sell a controlled substance is a felony offense. The severity of the felony depends on factors such as the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved as well as where the drugs were found. If convicted of possession with intent to sell you could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of a first-degree felony.
People often make the mistake of thinking that offenses involving possession of a controlled substance are always treated less seriously than those involving the sale, delivery, or manufacture of drugs. Likewise, there is a misconception that the police must actually catch you selling drugs in order to convict you of the more serious “sale of a controlled substance” offenses. In reality, the police generally know when drugs are meant for sale and when they are meant for personal use; however, proving the more serious offense of “possession with intent to sell” may be difficult.
When deciding whether to charge a suspect with simple possession or possession with intent to sell a number of factors are typically considered, such as:
- The quantity of the drug involved – the more drugs in your possession the higher the likelihood of an intent to sell charge.
- The manner in which the drug is packaged. If it is already separated in small bundles you will likely be charged with intent to sell.
- Absence or presence of sales paraphernalia such as scales, baggies, and “cutting” ingredients.
- Written records of sales or debts.
- Presence of large amounts of cash and/or weapons.
If you been charged with possession with intent to sell, or another drug offense, in Florida it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney early on in your case. Contact the criminal defense team at Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your free case evaluation.