If you are facing drug charges, whether it involves possession, trafficking, or selling, then you need to understand the severity of the consequences in North Port. Drug-related crimes include over-the-counter drugs, taking prescription medication that is not in your name, and illegal street drugs such as meth, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and many others that are listed in the Florida Statutes.
You might be fearing for your future following your arrest. The State of Florida is very strict when it comes to drug offenders, and drug offenses can be prosecuted on both the state and federal levels. However, if you have the right team of criminal defense lawyers on your side, then your future will certainly be protected. You must find a lawyer with the necessary knowledge of drug laws.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience in managing cases involving drug crimes in North Port and all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has helped countless clients achieve the outcome that they desire for their case. Our team of criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to every one of our clients, and we will pay attention to the details of your case in order to win the best possible outcome.
Our team of criminal defense lawyers is well-versed in the drug laws of the State of Florida, and they will guide you through the legal system with efficiency. A criminal defense lawyer from our law firm can offer you a free consultation today, in which they will explain the process to you and answer all of your questions about your criminal charges.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight your drug charges together in the State of Florida. Phone lines are open 24/7.
Florida Statutes on Drug Laws
Florida Statute 499.03 explains the law on drugs in the State of Florida. It states that a person may not possess, or possess with intent to sell, dispense, or deliver, any habit-forming, toxic, or harmful drug or prescription drug unless obtained through a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe the drug.
The people who are exempt from the rule include:
- People who have a prescription for the drug in question from a licensed practitioner.
- An employee of an agency who deals with drugs in line with their business practices.
- A medical professional that has control of drugs in line with their career, such as a doctor.
Violation of this statute is classed as a second-degree misdemeanor. If you wish to learn more about drug laws under the Florida Statutes, then get in touch with a criminal defense attorney from our law firm to set up a free consultation today.
Types of Drug Crimes in North Port, FL.
A criminal defense attorney from our law firm will explain how your drug charges can be classed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of crime that has been committed in North Port.
The most common drug crimes include:
- Possessing a controlled substance.
- Possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell, distribute, or manufacture a controlled substance.
- Falsely obtaining a controlled substance.
- Falsely prescribing a controlled substance.
- Manufacturing a controlled substance.
- Delivering a controlled substance.
- Selling a controlled substance.
- Trafficking a controlled substance.
There are other drug offenses that will be charged depending on where they are committed, such as near school grounds. These types of offenses will involve long-term prison sentences and large fines in North Port.
If you are looking to understand more about the different types of drug charges, then call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.
Drug Crimes That We Handle in North Port, FL.
The Law Place handles many different drug crimes in North Port. Our team of Florida criminal defense attorneys has an in-depth understanding of criminal law, and they will explain the types of drug crimes to you.
- Drug possession – You can be charged with drug possession if the prosecution has evidence to prove that you had a controlled substance in your possession intended for personal use. The criminal charges will be defined as either constructive possession or actual possession. The severity of the penalties will depend on the type and the quantity of the drug that is found in your possession. A Schedule One drug will result in a first-degree felony charge, which means that you will have to pay $10,000 in fines and spend up to 15 years in prison.
- Possession of marijuana – You could be charged with possession of marijuana if you possess it without a prescription, according to Florida Statute 893.13. If you are in possession of fewer than 20 grams of marijuana, then you will most likely be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If you are in possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, then you will most likely be charged with a third-degree felony.
- Possession with intent to sell – You could be facing possession with intent to sell if you are founded to be in possession of a controlled substance in a large quantity that is deemed to be more than for personal use only. In this case, you will be faced with a felony charge for possession with intent to sell.
- Drug trafficking – You could be charged with drug trafficking if you were involved in possessing, manufacturing, buying, selling, or delivering a controlled substance. Drug trafficking is classed as a felony in the State of Florida. Similar to other drug charges, the severity of the consequences will depend on the amount of drugs found in your possession. It will also determine the length of your prison sentence.
- Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud – You could be charged with obtaining a controlled substance through fraud by misrepresenting yourself or using tactics of deception, fraud, or forgery. You will most likely be charged with a third-degree felony, and the penalties include spending up to five years in prison.
- Selling – You could be charged with selling a controlled substance, depending on the type and amount in question. In this case, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the controlled substance was sold in exchange for cash. It could be exchanged for something else of value, such as an object or service, which is enough evidence to be used against you in the court of law.
- Conspiracy to commit – You could be charged with conspiracy to commit a drug crime if you have made an agreement to carry out a drug offense. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that there was an implied agreement that indicates the intent to commit a drug offense. It is considered illegal to practice ‘conspiracy’ under federal law in the State of Florida. The prosecutor does not have to prove that you and another party performed the actual crime, as conspiracy to commit is enough to charge you with this offense.
Drug Possession Penalties in North Port, FL.
A criminal defense attorney from our law firm will help you to understand that a charge of drug possession includes any type of illegal substance that is found on you, in a vehicle, or in your house, within a certain weight.
- Methamphetamine – You can be charged with a third-degree felony for possessing meth. There is no mandatory minimum sentence required, but you will have to spend a maximum of five years in prison.
- Ecstasy – Possession of 10 grams does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but you will have to spend a maximum of five years in prison.
- Marijuana – Possession of 20 grams does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but you will have to spend a maximum of five years in prison.
- Cocaine – Possession of 28 grams does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but you will have to spend a maximum of five years in prison.
Drug Trafficking Penalties in North Port, FL.
A charge of drug trafficking or selling evolves from a charge of drug possession when you possess an illegal substance in a quantity that is deemed too large for personal use alone. The penalties vary depending on the type of drug.
- Methamphetamine – Possession of 14 grams is classed as a first-degree felony, and the minimum sentence requirement is spending up to three years in prison and paying a $50,000 fine.
- Ecstasy – Possession of 10 grams is classed as a first-degree felony, and the minimum sentence requirement is also spending up to three years in prison and paying a $50,000 fine.
- Marijuana – Possession of 25 pounds is classed as a first-degree felony, and the minimum sentence requirement is spending up to three years in prison and paying a $25,000 fine.
Drug Manufacturing Penalties in North Port, FL.
A charge for drug manufacturing is defined as anyone who engages in an activity that contributes to the process of developing illegal substances. Drug manufacturing usually consists of possessing plants or raw materials that can be found in an illegal drug. Penalties for drug manufacturing are very severe, and the usual minimum sentence requirement includes spending up to three years in prison and paying large fines in the State of Florida.
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession in North Port, FL.
Any criminal defense attorney will tell you that the State of Florida has some of the harshest drug laws in the whole of America. If you were to merely possess a controlled substance, then you could suffer the punishments of a third-degree felony charge. The penalties include a prison sentence of up to five years and having to pay large fines.
There are two different types of drug possession in the State of Florida, actual possession and constructive possession:
This is when drugs are found on you. It is irrelevant whether you own the drug or not for the purposes of actual possession. For instance, if you were to borrow a jacket from a friend who kept a controlled substance in their pocket, the fact that the controlled substance is not yours is not a viable defense against a charge of actual possession.
The smartest way to challenge this charge would be to question the police officer’s stop and search methods that led to them finding the drugs on you. In this case, a police officer would need a reasonable suspicion that you were about to commit, or had already committed, a drug crime to perform a stop and search. If it is discovered that the police officer did not have probable cause to stop and search you, then your charges will be dismissed altogether.
Constructive possession is when the drugs are not directly on you but instead were located in a specific place or common area that you could access. A charge of constructive possession means that you knew, or were aware, that the drugs were in that specific location, and you exercised control over the substance. For instance, the drugs were discovered in a glove compartment or under the seat of a car, but there were also other people in the vehicle at the time of the stop and search by a police officer. The prosecutor is required to prove these points to charge you with constructive possession:
- You had authority and control over the controlled substance in question.
- You were aware that the controlled substance was in the specific location that the police officer discovered them.
- You knew that the controlled substance was illegal.
Like a charge of actual possession, you can challenge a charge of constructive possession by questioning the stop and search from the police officer. You can also challenge the prosecutor by claiming that they did not establish all the required elements of constructive possession, as stated above, beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you wish to protect your legal rights, then call our law firm today to set up a free consultation with one of our Florida criminal defense attorneys.
Contact The Law Place Today in North Port, FL.
Are you facing criminal charges for a drug offense in North Port? Are you feeling uncertain about what move to make next following your arrest? Then we strongly advise that you get in contact with a criminal defense lawyer from a reputable law firm to protect your future.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of combined experience in fighting criminal charges, such as drug offenses, for clients in North Port and throughout the State of Florida. Our team of criminal defense lawyers understands that the stakes are high for you, and we will provide you with the support and guidance that you need during this difficult time.
A criminal defense lawyer from our law firm will explain your legal rights and guide you through the legal system in the State of Florida. We do not want you to lose hope for your future if the odds seem stacked against you. With a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place on your side, we will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. In addition, a criminal defense lawyer will protect you from the manipulative tactics and unfair charges of the prosecution.
If you choose to be represented by our law firm, then a criminal defense lawyer will investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with the prosecutor, and develop a strong defense strategy to fight against your criminal charges in the court of law. Our team of criminal defense lawyers will work hard to reduce your charges and minimize the severity of the consequences of your drug case.
Call today to set up a free consultation, in which a criminal defense attorney will discuss the details of your case and offer you honest advice on how to best approach your situation. Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight your drug charges together in the State of Florida. Phone lines are open 24/7.