Have you been accused of the unlawful sale of a substance in place of a controlled substance? If so, you will be about to face some very serious penalties.
According to , the sale of any substances in place of a controlled substance is illegal, and depending on the classification of the drugs in question, you could face misdemeanor or even third-degree felony charges. It is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible in order to minimize the potential consequences.
With our help, it is possible that you could have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Our law firm has some of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state. Between them, they have over seventy-five years of combined experience in defending the criminally accused. We have worked with clients facing a wide range of accusations and come highly recommended.
Contact us now for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444. We are ready to handle your drug charges and fight for your rights. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
What the Law in Florida Says About the Sale of a Substance in Place of a Controlled Substance
The law regarding the sale of a substance in place of a controlled substance is outlined under Florida Statute 817.563.
Under this statute, it is against the law in Florida to offer to sell a controlled substance and then sell a non-controlled legal substance. For example, if you tell someone you are selling them marijuana but sell them a bag of herbs, or you tell someone you are selling them crack-cocaine but give them a bag of sugar, you have violated the terms of the statute.
This offense is not to be confused with “counterfeiting a controlled substance” as in Florida Statute 831.31, where a drug is sold after being “cut” with another. According to Florida Statute 817.563, the substance you have sold must be a benign, legal substance.
To be charged under this statute, the prosecutor must establish that you:
- Had no legal authority to agree to sell a controlled substance as listed under Florida Statute 893.03.
- You sold a non-controlled substance in place of a controlled substance.
- You accepted payment (money or otherwise) in return for the substance.
The laws regarding the possession and the intent to sell controlled substances in Florida can be difficult to comprehend. An experienced lawyer can explain the charges that you may be facing and advise you on what steps to take next.
The Penalties Associated With Selling a Substance in Place of a Controlled Substance
Many defendants assume that penalties for this crime will be minimal, especially if the substance they sold is considered harmless. However, this is not the case. The penalties associated with this crime will be based on the type of controlled substance you had the intent to sell. For example:
If the drug that was offered is listed under Florida Statute 893.03 as Schedule I-IV, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. Penalties include five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
If the drug that was offered was Schedule V, then you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Penalties include a prison sentence of up sixty days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Criminal convictions can have a long-term impact on your life. As well as the prospect of several years in prison, you will face other difficulties, such as a restriction on future employment opportunities, the loss of the ability to rent or buy a home, or even vote. You should fight them at all costs.
Defending Your Charges of Selling a Substance in Place of a Controlled Substance
Whether you are facing second-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony charges, these convictions will remain on your record, and you will face long-term consequences as a result. Convicted felons have restrictions placed on them by the state, and you will lose some basic freedoms. Therefore, it is essential that you consult with a skilled lawyer from The Law Place who can explain the possible defenses that are available to you based on your individual situation. Some examples of possible defenses include:
- You never offered to sell a controlled substance.
- You did not take any money for the exchange.
- You are innocent of all accusations and were not involved in any way.
- There is no evidence of a sale or an intent to sell.
Furthermore, certain legal protocols must be followed when searching and arresting someone for drug crimes. A skilled lawyer may be able to question the legality of your arrest, and this could be enough to have your charges dismissed. For example:
- Was there a valid reason for the police officer to pull you over?
- Was there a valid search warrant for the search of your home or car?
- Were your constitutional rights infringed upon in any way?
- Did the law enforcement officer or officers who made the arrest follow the correct protocol?
Types of Controlled Substances
When it comes to drug charges, it is important that you are aware of the laws regarding controlled substances.
In Florida, it against the law to be in possession of a controlled substance, except for those that you have been legally prescribed by your doctor. Those found to be in possession of a controlled substance will face felony charges according to Florida Statute 893.13. The penalties and charges faced by those who are charged with drug possession are usually based on the amount and type of substance that is found on the person.
An extensive list of drugs that are considered “controlled substance” can be found under The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The list is organized into five schedules and is regulated further by the federal and state governments.
Most drug charges in Florida for being in possession of a controlled substance involve prescription medications. The most common medications sold on the streets include Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, and OxyContin. Popular non prescribed drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy are also classed as a controlled substance under this act.
The laws may seem complex, but the main thing to remember is that drug crimes and drug trafficking offenses are not tolerated by the State of Florida, and those who are accused will face some of the most serious penalties. This is why if you have been accused of any crime involving the possession or intent to sell a controlled substance, you should contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately, so you can begin to take the right steps towards the best outcome.
Contact The Law Place in Florida Today!
If you have been accused of selling a substance in place of a controlled substance or having the intent to sell, then you might be feeling like you do not know where to turn. If you contact The Law Place, we can offer free legal advice in a confidential, free consultation.
If you hire us to represent you, one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys will begin by conducting an in-depth investigation into your case. We will work tirelessly in our attempt to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. This could potentially save you money, your job, and even your freedom.
Contact us now at (941) 444-4444, and we will fight your charges together. Our phone lines are open 24/7.