Dealing with a Florida drug possession charge is serious. You can face lengthy jail time and expensive fines if you are convicted. It’s imperative that you understand your situation if you find yourself facing drug charges.
If you have recently been charged with drug possession in Florida, here are some of the most important things you need to know.
#1) Drug charges can include more than just possession.
While drug possession is one of the most common drug charges, it only refers to being in possession of a controlled substance or a substance that requires a prescription (when you don’t have a prescription). If you’re facing drug charges, you may be facing possession charges as well as other types of drug-related charges such as:
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: Being in possession of equipment or tools that are used to prepare, use, or conceal drugs
- Drug Possession with Intent to Sell: Being in possession of drugs with additional evidence that shows the drugs are not for personal use but rather for selling to other individuals
- Manufacturing: Having tools or a process in place to develop controlled substances
- Trafficking/Distribution: Selling, delivering, transporting, or otherwise managing a large amount of a controlled substance
If you are facing Florida drug possession charges in addition to any of these other drug charges, your case can result in more severe consequences.
#2) Drug charges relate to street drugs and prescribed drugs.
Drug charges refer to the possession of illegal substances known as street drugs such as:
- Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
Drug charges may also refer to the possession of legal, controlled substances if the person in possession doesn’t have a prescription. These drugs include (but aren’t limited to):
Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but you must have a valid license to distribute or a prescription to have it in your possession.
#3) Drug charges can be misdemeanors or felonies.
Florida drug possession charges can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors and felonies are both criminal crimes, but felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors and often come with harsher punishments.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony will depend on the amount of the substance you have and what specific charges you face. Misdemeanors are usually applied to situations where there is a small amount of drugs intended for only personal use. Whereas felonies often apply when there is a large amount of a controlled substance and an intent to distribute.
#4) You can face serious consequences for drug charges.
Whether you face a misdemeanor or felony Florida drug charge, you can face consequences such as:
- Jail time
- Loss of driver’s license
- Loss of professional licensure
#5) The state must prove three things in a Florida drug possession case.
If you are facing drug charges, the state must prove its case to convict you of the crime. According to Florida Statute Section 893.13, the state must prove three things in order to win their case. They must:
- Prove that the substance is illegal.
- Prove that the defendant knew that the drug was illegal.
- Prove that the defendant had knowledge and control of the drug.
#6) You can form a strong defense for Florida drug possession charges.
If you are charged with a drug offense, your life is not ruined. You can form a defense in your case that limits charges and creates a better outcome. There are four primary arguments that can help you win your case. You can prove that:
- You didn’t know the substance was illegal or controlled. Show that you didn’t know the substance was in your possession.
- You have a medical prescription for the substance. Show that you have a medical prescription for the substance.
- The police used entrapment techniques in the arrest. Law enforcement purposefully encouraged you to commit a crime you would have otherwise not committed.
- Unlawful search and seizure were used in the arrest. There was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and you were unlawfully searched.
Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps
Use an experienced attorney to fight Florida drug possession charges.
Florida drug possession charges are serious. They can affect you for the rest of your life and should not be taken lightly. But, that is not to say that there is no reason for hope.
With the right defense, you may be able to decrease your charges or even have your case dismissed. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
The sooner you start working with a criminal defense attorney, the sooner you can start crafting a case to fight against your drug charges.
If you’re facing Florida drug possession charges, get started on crafting your defense right away. Contact TJ Grimaldi today to schedule your free consultation, and see how TJ can use his experience to fight for you and get the best possible outcome.
Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.
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