Florida has stringent laws regarding the possession, distribution, and trafficking of controlled substances. You should know the legal implications if you are charged with a drug crime.
A conviction can seriously impact your life; however, there are several possible defenses.
Misdemeanor or felony
The severity of the penalty depends on several factors, such as:
- The type of drug involved
- The amount
- The intended use
Conviction of possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and one year of probation.
Suppose you are convicted of having more than 20 grams of marijuana or a controlled substance such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, or methamphetamine. In that case, it is considered a third-degree felony, which may result in a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Drug trafficking charges typically involve larger quantities of drugs and involve severe penalties. For example, having between 25-2000 lbs of cannabis carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Certain drugs, such as cocaine, meth, or OxyContin, are considered Schedule II controlled substances due to their high potential for abuse and addiction. Penalties for trafficking certain Schedule II drugs could result in a $750,000 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
There are some potential defenses against a drug charge, including:
- You did not knowingly possess the drugs.
- The drugs were found during an unlawful search and seizure.
- You were coerced or threatened into possessing the drugs.
- You were entrapped by law enforcement.
Having a good strategic defense is crucial when facing drug charges. Working with someone who understands the process is your best chance for a positive outcome.