The Florida legal system takes drug possession charges extremely seriously, particularly when these charges include intent to sell. The penalties for possession with intent to sell can vary depending on the quantity and schedule of drug you were caught with. You may face a third-degree felony or up to a first-degree felony, which carries a heavy fine and potentially a 30-year prison sentence. This is not to mention the fact that a felony charge also gives you a permanent record which will affect your future opportunities.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for the sale of illegal drugs with intent, then you may be unsure of what steps to take next. Well, the first thing you should do is hire a criminal defense lawyer who will put all their energy into building you a defense strong enough to see your charges reduced or dropped altogether. When hiring a law firm, make sure that you do enough research to ensure that you are getting a team that you can trust.
At The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in helping clients who have faced charges just like yours. We take pride in our strong attorney-client relationships and guarantee that you will get confidential and impartial legal advice every step of the way. We offer a free consultation service so that you have the opportunity to voice all of your queries and concerns before making any final decisions. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that you always have someone to call in your time of need. Contact us now.
Florida Statute 893.13 states that you may face either a first, second, or third-degree felony, depending on the type of controlled substance you were accused of selling.
The penalties for each of these felonies vary to a degree, but all include prison time and a fine. As we know, first-degree felonies come with the most severe punishments of the three. You could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Receiving a first-degree felony is the worst-case scenario, so hiring good representation is your best chance of avoiding this outcome. Make sure that you hire an attorney who has a good track record in defending clients facing drug charges. An attorney can be extremely adept without having the necessary experience to defend criminal cases. Doing thorough research and asking plenty of questions will be the best way to find out just how good a lawyer is. Our advice is that you hire representation who can provide plenty of positive client testimonies. It is your freedom that hangs in the balance.
Different Charges in Fort Myers, FL.
There are a variety of categories into which drug charges can fall in Fort Myers, FL., including:
- Possession of paraphernalia. This can be any object which is designed to aid in storing, producing, hiding, selling, or moving drugs. Carrying a large number of plastic baggies, for example, would be deemed paraphernalia.
- Possession of a controlled substance.
- Selling a controlled substance.
- Producing a controlled substance.
- Selling a controlled substance.
- Trafficking a controlled substance.
Different Schedules of Controlled Substances
Florida Statute 893.03 breaks down the details of drug schedules and which substances are categorized as each. Split into five categories, these schedules were created by the government with the intention of rating the potential each drug has for harm, abuse, and addictiveness. The most dangerous drugs are put into Schedule One, whilst those which pose the least amount of risk are in Schedule Five.
It is important to note that not every drug has been placed in its schedule based on scientific research. These decisions have been made by government officials.
These drugs are considered the most dangerous of all controlled substances, being the most addictive and creating a lot of potential for harm and abuse. They are also in this schedule based on their complete lack of medicinal use. For this reason, they carry the severest of penalties, particularly for those convicted of possession with intent to sell. You will face a first-degree felony and a lengthy prison sentence if you are found guilty of selling a Schedule One drug. Examples include meth, crack cocaine, heroin, and LSD.
These are drugs that also pose a threat to people and are particularly addictive. However, the difference is that they also have some medical benefits, and some can be obtained with a prescription. Examples include OxyContin, Adderall, methamphetamine, Vicodin, cocaine, methadone, morphine, and Ritalin.
The potential for addiction and harm lessons as the schedules continue. Examples of Schedule Three drugs include ketamine, steroids, and codeine products.
These are all drugs that are low risk and are unlikely to lead to addiction. Examples include Ambien, Xanax, Ativan, Tramadol, and Darvocet.
These drugs pose the least risk to those who use them and include Lomotil, Lyrica, Motofen, and cough syrups that contain less than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters.
Possible Defenses in Fort Myers, FL.
When you hire a defense attorney in Fort Myers, they will go through every detail of your case with you so that you are in the loop at all times. Plus, this thoroughness will help to ensure that they are considering every defense that is possible for your case. It is difficult to say exactly what defense your defense attorney will use as every case is individual, and a good lawyer will build your defense around the specific details of your case. However, the following is a list of defenses that we have previously used at The Law Place, just to give you an idea of what might be possible:
- The arresting officer committed entrapment.
- You did not own the illegal substance.
- Law enforcement acquired evidence illegally.
- You were misidentified.
- Law enforcement officers searched and arrested you without a warrant or with an invalid one, making your charges inadmissible.
- You did not intend to sell the substance.
- Law enforcement officers incorrectly weighed the substance.
Factors That Indicate Intent to Sell or Deliver
Your defense attorney will look at a number of factors when building your case. All of the following will give an indication of your intent when in possession of the controlled substance and whether you were going to sell it or not:
- Any admissions of intent made by the defendant.
- The way the drugs were packaged. For example, if you were caught with cocaine split up into baggies containing a gram each, this would make you look guilty of intent to sell.
- Any drug paraphernalia that was found on your person or in the vicinity.
- Any cash that you were in possession of.
- Having a weapon such as a firearm.
- The schedule of drugs that were recovered by law enforcement.
In the event that there is no evidence to prove any of the above, it can be used in your favor. It may be enough to provide circumstantial evidence that shows you had no intention of selling the controlled substance. Contact The Law Place today and schedule a free consultation to find out what charges you may be facing and the consequences these will have for you and your family.
Investigation of Your Arrest in Fort Myers
Once you have decided on your criminal defense lawyer, they will begin working on your case. The first step is to launch an investigation into the evidence against you and the circumstances under which the arrest happened. It is important to understand exactly how the evidence against you was obtained because any disparity could be used by your criminal defense attorney to get your charges reduced or dropped. It may mean that you avoid facing a first-degree felony and 30 years in prison.
A reputable defense attorney will be able to quickly recognize if law enforcement acted within the constitution, making sure to avoid violating your rights like the Fourth Amendment. If so, your lawyer can request that the evidence against you be suppressed. This means that there will be nothing to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were in possession of an illegal substance with intent to sell. If this happens, the charges against you will likely be dropped.
You should make finding the right criminal defense attorney as seriously as Florida takes its drug laws. Call The Law Place today and schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. We are on your side.
Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer Before Hiring Them
Honesty between you and your attorney will be vital to the success of your case. That is why finding someone you trust to represent you is so important. The more details of your case your attorney knows, the better their defense will be. That is why knowing what questions to ask and making sure to ask them before you make a decision is key. Remember that this could mean the difference between freedom and a long prison sentence:
- Have you represented clients facing the same charges as me?
- How much will you cost, and can I pay in installments?
- What is your success rate with cases like mine?
- What is your experience with litigating in jury trials?
- How many plea bargains have you successfully negotiated?
- Do you have references from past clients?
This last question is the most important on our list. This is because no good defense attorney lacks numerous positive references from clients that they have previously defended. Anyone who cannot provide this either has a bad track record or is still inexperienced. Take this as a red flag and continue your search. You deserve the best legal team out there!
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one is facing charges of sale of illegal drugs with intent, then you must be extremely worried. This is a serious charge, and could see you spending a lot of time behind bars. Your best chance of avoiding a first-degree felony is to hire the right law firm that has the necessary experience to build you a defense strong enough to find flaws in the prosecution’s case. Even if there seems to be a lot of strong evidence against you, you can still avoid a harsh punishment if you have the help of a good criminal defense attorney.
At The Law Place, we are committed to building strong attorney-client relationships that ensure trust and confidentiality. We work best when our clients feel safe enough to be completely honest, and in return, we will make sure that you know exactly what is happening every step of the way.
We also guarantee that you will not face any hidden costs or fees after our price is set. You will be told exactly how much our services will cost before hiring us and how our payment plans work. You don’t need to worry about this figure changing, no matter how much time is put into your case.
Furthermore, many of our attorneys have the highest possible AVVO rating of 10.0, based on a number of factors such as the number of years they have been practicing, awards, reviews from clients, and trial skills.
Do not hesitate to contact us today. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us now and schedule your free consultation.