Have you been charged with drug crimes in the State of Florida, and now you fear for your future? The laws in Florida have severe penalties set in place for individuals who are convicted of drug crimes, such as drug trafficking, possession, or sale of drugs. Being caught in possession of any illegal drug can negatively affect your future and your personal and professional life in many ways.
In Clearwater, drug crimes can be prosecuted at both state and federal levels and can inflict harsh punishments on the offender in question. The good news is that you can hire the services of a highly esteemed drug crime lawyer to protect your future at all costs. At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience when it comes to fighting drug charges for clients in Clearwater and throughout the State of Florida. We understand the uncertainty that you might be feeling after receiving a drug charge, and we want to be the ones to support you every step of the way.
Our dedicated team of Clearwater lawyers has the necessary skills and knowledge to build a vigorous defense and fight for your rights in an effort to reduce the charges and minimize the consequences that you are facing. A lawyer from The Law Place will handle your case and talk you through the legal process in a way that is easy to understand.
If you wish to be represented by a reputable law firm, then get in touch with The Law Place. A criminal defense attorney will be waiting to hear from you. Contact us now at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation, and we will fight your drug charges together.
Types of Drug Crimes in Clearwater, FL.
There are numerous different types of drug crimes in the State of Florida, and the penalties vary depending on the severity of the crime. A drug crime could be classed as a misdemeanor or a felony based on these factors. A list of common drug crimes includes:
- A drug crime consisting of manufacturing a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of delivering a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of possessing a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of possessing a controlled substance, with the objective to manufacture, distribute, or sell a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of trafficking a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of selling a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of unlawfully obtaining a controlled substance.
- A drug crime consisting of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance.
There are other offenses regarding drug crimes, which are based on the location that they are committed, such as near a childcare facility or local school grounds.
Lengthy prison sentences and large fines are often issued when it comes to individuals who are convicted of drug crimes without a strong legal defense.
For a free legal consultation with a drug lawyer serving Clearwater, call 941-444-4444
Possessing and Attempting to Sell Drugs in Clearwater, FL.
Florida Statute 499.03 states that it is illegal for any individual to possess or be in possession of drugs that are toxic and harmful or brand new and available on the market. However, it is worth noting that there are some instances where individuals could be exempt from this rule, such as:
- If someone has received a prescription for a drug from a doctor or practitioner who has the license and authority to prescribe drugs in accordance with the law.
- If an employee or a representative of an agency has the authority to deal with drugs as part of their business practices in accordance with the law.
- If a medical professional must control drugs as part of their work or employment, such as a doctor.
An individual who violates the Statute will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor in Clearwater, FL.
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Possessing and Attempting to Sell Controlled Substances in Clearwater, FL.
If an individual is caught in possession of a controlled substance, with the intention of manufacturing, selling, or delivering, they can be punished severely under the strict law in Florida. All prosecutors have absolutely no tolerance for offenders who have been charged with drug crimes, and they will fight to make sure that all offenders are convicted with the maximum amount possible in fines and jail time.
However, attempting to sell the drugs will most likely have an even more extreme form of punishment than just possession. Attempting to sell any type of controlled substance is illegal, as stated in Florida Statute 817.563.
If an individual attempts to go through with the act of possession and attempting to sell controlled substances, then they will potentially be facing one of the punishments below. However, it depends on the type of drug that was involved in the crime.
- An individual found guilty of being in possession and selling one of the illegal substances as listed in Florida Statute 893.03 will be facing a charge of a third-degree felony or second-degree misdemeanor in Clearwater, depending on the exact drug.
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Definition and Penalties in Clearwater, FL.
It is written in Florida Statute 893.13 that “a person may not sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell a controlled substance,” such as heroin, cocaine, or cannabis in Clearwater, FL.
If an individual is caught violating this Statute, it will result in a second-degree felony or third-degree felony charge. However, this depends on the type of substance involved in the case. For example, if an individual is caught in possession of cannabis with the intention of selling, manufacturing, or delivering, then this is classed as a third-degree felony in Clearwater. The punishments for being charged with a third-degree felony includes a prison sentence of up to five years. However, if an individual is caught in possession of cocaine with the intention of selling, manufacturing, or delivering, then this is classed as a second-degree felony in Clearwater. The punishments for being charged with a second-degree felony includes a prison sentence of up to fifteen years.
To prove that an individual possessed a controlled substance with the intention to sell, manufacture, or deliver, then the prosecutor has the responsibility to establish three aspects of the case beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The offender was in possession of a certain substance with the intention of selling, manufacturing, or delivering.
- The offender possessed one of the substances that are listed in Florida Statute 893.03.
- The offender was fully aware of the illegal nature of the controlled substance.
The term ‘sell’ in this case means when an individual plans to transfer or deliver something to another individual, in exchange for or with the promise of something else that is of value in return, according to the law in the State of Florida. The term ‘possession’ means that the offender in question had personal control, right of ownership, and management over the substance.
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Proving Possession With Intent to Sell in Clearwater, FL.
It is common with most cases of drug possession that the offender did not have the intention to sell or deliver the controlled substance. The term ‘intent to sell’ is usually attributed to a straightforward possession of drugs charge to increase the severity of penalties and extract a harsher plea from the offender.
The prosecutor can also seek to enhance a drug charge to an ‘intent to sell or deliver’ when the reality is that it is only a case of straightforward possession. However, the prosecutor can attempt to enhance the charge if they can prove the following:
- At the location where the controlled substance was found, there were also large amounts of cash around the premises/ vehicle.
- There were certain bags or specific packaging materials discovered on the premises that give the impression of drugs or the sale of drugs.
- There was equipment on the premises, such as rolling papers, scales, testing kits, and mixing devices.
- There were weapons found on the premises.
- There was an admission by the offender in question and other associates.
- The amount and type of controlled substance located on the premises.
Possessing and Attempting to Sell Counterfeit Controlled Substances in Clearwater, FL.
Florida Statute 831.31 states that the possession and intent to manufacture or attempt to sell any counterfeit controlled substance is also an illegal act in the State of Florida. However, if an individual attempts to manufacture or sell illegal drugs, then they will face a third-degree felony. In contrast, an individual who attempts to manufacture or sell counterfeit, illegal drugs will only face a second-degree misdemeanor.
Drug Possession Charge in Clearwater, FL.
When it comes to drug laws, Florida has some of the harshest ones in the United States of America. If you are merely caught in possession of a controlled substance, then this offense can be punished as a third-degree felony with a prison sentence of up to five years and hefty fines.
There are two types of drug possession, as recognized by the State of Florida.
This refers to a situation where a police officer discovers drugs physically on you. For example, the drugs are concealed in your shirt pocket. It is irrelevant if the drug is in your ownership or not when it comes to a case of actual possession. You could have borrowed a jacket from a friend who had a controlled substance, like cannabis, in one of their pockets, but this is not a good defense against drug charges of possession.
In order to challenge an actual possession charge, you must question the search of the police officer who found the drugs. In this situation, an officer from the law enforcement most likely had a plausible suspicion that you were about to commit, or had already committed a crime if they were motivated to stop you. When a police officer is acting upon a plausible suspicion, then they must have had reasonable cause to stop you and conduct a search. However, if the officer did not have a valid reason to conduct a search, then the actual drug possession charges are likely to be dismissed under these circumstances.
This refers to a situation in which you are facing possession charges for drugs that were in a general zone and weren’t physically on you. The prosecutor must prove constructive possession by demonstrating that you were aware of the drugs in the specific location and that you exercised control and management over them. For example, it is possible for you to be charged with constructive possession if you were a passenger in a vehicle where drugs were discovered in the back of the car or in the glove compartment. In this situation, the prosecutor must prove three things:
- That you had authority and control over the drugs.
- That you were aware of the drugs and the specific location where the police officer discovered them.
- That you were fully aware that the drugs were illegal.
To challenge a charge of constructive possession, you must question the stop and search of the officer from the law enforcement in the same way that you would challenge a charge of actual possession. Additionally, it can also be contested that the prosecutor was unable to establish all the three things listed above.
Defenses to Drug Crime in Clearwater, FL.
A skilled Clearwater drug lawyer will be able to defend your case based on the fact that you were not in close proximity to the drug in question. Being within the vicinity of the drug, such as living in the same building, does not necessarily signify that you were in control of the illegal substance.
Florida Statute 893.21 states that an individual who is helping and aiding another individual who is suffering from a fatal overdose of the drug in question will not be prosecuted. A Florida criminal defense lawyer will be able to use this valuable information to the individual’s defense. You could be perceived as the rescuer if you were involved in that specific situation.
Penalties for Committing a Drug Crime in Florida
If an individual is caught attempting to possess and sell drugs that are defined as harmful, toxic, and habit-forming, or seen as brand new on the market, then they will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, as stated in Florida Statute 499.03. The penalties will result in a fine of up to $500 and a possible prison sentence of up to sixty days.
There are two forms of punishment in an attempt to possess or sell a controlled substance case or even a counterfeit controlled substance case. If an individual is caught in possession of and making a sale of drugs, then they will be facing charges of a third-degree felony or second-degree misdemeanor. The former of which will result in a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. The latter will result in a fine of up to $500 and a possible prison time of up to sixty days.
Furthermore, if an individual is caught attempting to possess and sell counterfeit controlled substances, then they will be facing charges of a third-degree felony, which will result in a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years, according to Florida Statute 817.564.
Contact The Law Place
If you are facing drug charges for being in possession of a controlled substance, drug trafficking, or even for selling illegal drugs, then you will need all the help you can get. The State of Florida takes drug crimes extremely seriously, and there are harsh punishments set in place for individuals who are convicted of this offense.
We highly recommend that you reach out and speak to a reputable law firm that can guide you through the legal system in Florida, which can sometimes be difficult to comprehend on your own. At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience and knowledge when it comes to fighting drug charges, such as being in possession of a controlled substance, drug trafficking, and illegal sale of drugs.
Our law firm has seen and heard it all. So, reach out and contact us today for honest advice on the best move to make in your specific situation. If you choose to be represented by our law firm after the conversation, then a skilled attorney will get to work on your case straight away. We will start by asking you all the relevant questions, gathering important details and pieces of information, and establishing a strong defense to take into the courtroom.
Your case is important to us, and we want to make sure that you receive a reasonable outcome for your drug charges. We will do everything we can to reduce the charges and possibly even minimize the consequences. Above all else, we want to protect your rights in the State of Florida.
Contact us now at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation, and we will fight your drug charges together in Clearwater.
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