Drug crimes are taken extremely seriously in Clearwater, especially if you are in possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell them. If you are accused or charged with possession of drugs with the intent to sell, then you could be facing severe and life-changing consequences. By seeking the advice of a defense lawyer, you are placing yourself in the best possible position to have any penalties reduced or minimized.
Here at The Law Place, we understand how daunting facing criminal charges can be, which is why we pride ourselves on developing a positive attorney-client relationship built on trust and honesty. Our law firm has over 75 years of collective experience in dealing with drug-related cases similar to yours. Our Clearwater criminal defense lawyers will offer support and guidance and support you every step of the way. We offer all our customers a free consultation where an experienced criminal defense lawyer will offer a free case evaluation and provide valuable legal advice at no-obligation.
Our offices in Clearwater are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can be on hand to offer legal advice and information at any time of day. Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 and get started with your case.
As noted in Florida Statute 893.13, the type of classification that you are charged with will depend on the type of controlled substance that you have been accused of selling. Charges for the possession of drugs with the intent to sell can result in either a first, second, or third-degree felony charge.
Punishments for felony charges vary according to the degree but are punishable by more than a year in prison and a fine. A first-degree felony entails the harshest punishments and can result in a thirty-year prison sentence as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been accused or charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, then it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney that is highly knowledgeable in drug crimes and their charges. When facing charges that could have such impactful and life-changing consequences on your life, it is important to do all you can to protect yourself.
Drug Charges in Florida
Drug charges in Florida can fall into the following categories:
- Possession – A charge of possession will depend on whether the controlled substance or drug paraphernalia are considered to be dangerous substances by the State of Florida, as well as the amount of drugs that were found in your possession.
- Distribution or selling a controlled substance – A charge of distribution refers to the sale, distribution, or the intent to sell or distribute illegal drugs.
- Manufacturing a controlled substance – A charge of manufacturing refers to producing controlled illegal substances, and that the materials used to manufacture said illegal substances are found in your possession.
- Trafficking a controlled substance – A charge of trafficking refers to the intent to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, possess, or transport drugs into or out of the State of Florida.
- Prescription fraud – A charge of prescription fraud refers to using fake or forged prescriptions in an attempt to obtain prescription medication.
The penalties for drug crimes will ultimately depend on the nature, type, and quantity of drugs involved in the case. No matter the drug crime you are accused of, at The Law Place, our team of criminal defense attorneys is here to support you every step of the way.
Different Schedules of Controlled Substances
Controlled substances in Clearwater are governed by Florida Statute 893.03. This statute divides controlled substances into five different categories, known as schedules. The schedules relate to how addictive the controlled substances are and what potential they have to cause harm. Schedule I contains drugs that are considered to be most harmful, whereas Schedule V contains those that are the least harmful.
Schedule I drugs are considered to be the most dangerous controlled substances, with the highest potential abuse, and have no approved use in the medical field. Schedule I drugs include meth, crack, heroin, and LSD. If you are accused of possession with intent to sell Schedule I drugs, then you will face the most severe punishments, which will result in a first-degree felony and a long-term prison sentence.
Schedule II drugs have a high risk of addiction but have some medical uses and, in some cases, can be prescribed. Schedule II drugs include oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Adderall, methamphetamine, Dexedrine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methadone, meperidine (Demerol), morphine, and Ritalin.
Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse and addiction. Schedule III drugs include ketamine, steroids, or products that contain less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit.
Schedule IV drugs are said to have a low risk of dependence and abuse. Schedule IV drugs include Soma, Talwin, Ambien, Darvon, Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Tramadol.
Schedule V drugs carry the least risk of abuse. Schedule V drugs include cough syrups with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters, Motofen, Lyrica, Lomotil, and Parepectolin.
Possible Defences in Clearwater, FL.
By seeking the advice of a Clearwater criminal defense attorney, you are placing yourself in the best possible position. Your criminal defense lawyer will investigate the intricacies of your case and will work to develop a strong defense strategy that can stand up in court. Some of the most common defense strategies for drug cases that include possession of an illegal substance with the intent to sell include:
- Law enforcement was guilty of entrapment.
- The illegal drugs were not yours.
- You had no intent to sell the drugs.
- The substance in your possession was less than 10 grams.
- You were incorrectly identified.
- The police obtained evidence illegally.
- The police had no warrant to search and seize, or it was invalid.
- The method that law enforcement used to identify the drugs in your possession was flawed.
- The controlled substance was not actually in your possession.
What to Look for When Hiring a Defense Attorney in Clearwater, Florida
Penalties for being arrested and charged with the possession and sale of illegal drugs can be devastating and carry life-changing consequences. When seeking the advice of a skilled defense lawyer, it is important that the attorney possesses the necessary qualities to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case. An adept attorney should be able to:
- Reduce charges or have them dismissed.
- Lower the severity of the punishments.
- Minimize jail time.
- Develop the best possible defense for your case.
Hiring the right defense attorney is an important decision. Therefore, it is important to ask a number of questions to ensure that they are skilled and knowledgeable in handling drug-related crimes, that they are someone you can communicate effectively with, and you are likely to be able to develop a trusting attorney-client relationship with. Some questions you could ask a lawyer are:
- Have you handled drug-related cases similar to mine before?
- Are you knowledgeable about the current drug laws?
- What are your fees, and do you offer any payment plans?
- Have you won cases that are similar to mine?
- How many jury trials have you litigated?
- What is your track record when it comes to working out plea bargains?
- Can you provide me with references and testimonials from your previous clients?
By receiving the answers to the above questions, you can feel confident that you are making the right decision and employing a knowledgeable and skilled attorney capable of handling your case to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Investigation of Your Arrest in Florida
Once you make the decision to be represented by a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place, the first thing your lawyer will do is investigate your case and any evidence that is being used against you. Any discrepancies found in the evidence can be used to support your defense strategy in court.
Your defense attorney will also be able to assess whether the law enforcement officers acted lawfully within the Constitution. If any of your legal rights, such as your Fourth Amendment rights, have been violated in any way, any evidence for your case can be suppressed so that it cannot be used in court. If your lawyer is able to do this, then it is highly unlikely that a conviction or prison sentence will follow.
Contact The Law Place in Clearwater Today
If you have been accused or charged with the sale of illegal drugs, then hiring the right defense lawyer could be the most crucial and important decision you make. It could be the difference between being charged with a first-degree felony and facing a prison sentence, to having your charges dismissed entirely.
At The Law Place, our team of attorneys has an abundance of experience in dealing with a variety of drug-related cases involving the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. Our law firm offers all our customers a free consultation where we will assess the legitimacy of your case and offer some valuable legal advice at no-obligation.
Our phone lines are open around the clock, so you can contact us at any time of day, and rest assured, a skilled lawyer will be on hand to help. Call us today on (941) 444-4444, and get started with your case.