Florida is renowned for having some of the most severe penalties for drug crimes in the United States. If you have been accused and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance in North Port, obtaining a criminal defense lawyer for your case is essential. With their experience and skills, they can help you get through this.
In the State of Florida, it is illegal to possess, traffic, or manufacture controlled substances. Attached to these laws are huge penalties, which can be applied even in minor cases. Some of the substances contained within the law include narcotics, hallucinogenic substances, Valium, and Vicodin, amongst others.
If you or someone you know has been found in possession of a controlled substance or caught trafficking drugs, then it is vital that you contact us at The Law Place so that we can provide you with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in North Port. Having practiced criminal defense for over 75 years, our team of defense lawyers can provide you with the best possible assistance. We have gained a strong reputation for advocating and winning cases for clients who have been charged with drug crimes, including being in possession of a controlled substance.
Here at The Law Place, the client is our top priority, and we will work to establish a strong attorney-client relationship. Our law firm is here to help you avoid future difficulties by providing you with the best possible legal assistance. We will provide you with a criminal defense attorney who will use their experience and skills to argue for your rights and take on your case. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we offer no-obligation, free consultations.
Call today for your free consultation at (941) 444-4444, and we will help you in fighting off this charge.
Florida Drug Statutes
Florida Statute 893.13 states that the possession of controlled substances will be regarded as a felony in almost all situations other than when it has been prescribed to you by your doctor.
A list of what is considered a controlled substance is contained under Florida Statute 893.033. In this list, there are a vast number of drugs that are categorized into five different schedules. These schedules of drugs are subject to regulation by both the state and the federal government.
Depending on the kind of drug a person has in their possession, in addition to the amount they are carrying, the penalties and charges given will vary. In North Port, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. This may result in a fine of $1,000 and up to one-year imprisonment for a first-time offender. On the other hand, possessing the same quantity of MDMA would result in a charge of drug trafficking if you are caught, regardless of your criminal history. A charge of drug trafficking brings with it more serious consequences as it is regarded as a third-degree felony. The penalty for committing a third-degree felony in Florida is a maximum of a five-year sentence of imprisonment in addition to a fine of up to $5,000.
Being caught committing a drug crime will also result in your driver’s license being suspended and a mark on your permanent record. For more information on the consequences of being charged with a drug crime in North Port, call The Law Place to speak with an experienced defense lawyer.
The Five Drug Schedules
The State of Florida has categorized controlled substances into five schedules. These schedules divide substances into categories based on their level of addictiveness and the risk they pose to the public. In terms of severity, Schedule One drugs are considered to be the most harmful and addictive, whereas Schedule Five substances are deemed the least harmful. As a result, the harshest penalties are attached to Schedule One drugs.
The five schedules are as follows:
- Schedule I – This includes drugs such as crack cocaine, LSD, heroin, and meth, which pose the greatest risk for addiction and harm to the public. They have been deemed to have no usefulness in the medical field. As such, they carry with them the highest penalties.
- Schedule II – These substances are considered to pose the second-highest risk to the public for addiction and harm. They have been deemed to have some use in the medical field and are sometimes prescribed to patients. Drugs such as Adderall, Oxycontin, methamphetamine, methadone, and cocaine are contained in this schedule.
- Schedule III – Drugs such as codeine, ketamine, and steroids are included in this schedule. They are deemed to present a lower risk to members of the public for harm and addiction.
- Schedule IV – Drugs in this schedule are regarded as having a low-risk for potential harm and addiction. They include Xanex, Tramadol, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien, amongst others.
- Schedule V – This schedule of drugs is regarded as having the lowest risk for potential abuse, dependence, and harm. Drugs such as codeine, Lyrica, Lomotil, and Motfen are contained in this schedule.
Although we have mentioned the most commonly used substances, a thorough list of illegal drugs and controlled substances is provided under Florida Statute 893.03.
Constructive Possession vs. Actual Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida
In the State of Florida, drug possession is categorized as being either actual possession or constructive possession.
Constructive possession occurs when a person is believed to have access to a controlled substance. What this means is that if a police officer has reason to assume that multiple people were aware of drugs being present and that these people were able to access the drugs, those people will be charged with constructive possession.
A common situation where constructive possession occurs is when a member of law enforcement stops a vehicle and finds that there are controlled substances present. In this situation, the officer is unaware of who in the car owns the drugs, so they will charge everyone who is present with constructive possession. The burden then lies on the police officer to prove that you had knowledge of the existence of the controlled substances and additionally that you had access to them. It is not sufficient to prove that you were merely in the presence of the drugs.
Actual possession is a more straightforward charge where a person is caught with drugs physically in their possession. This includes drugs found on your person or in your clothing. In contrast to constructive possession, a charge of actual possession will not involve any other people who may have been aware or have had access to the drugs.
Defending Your Charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance in North Port, FL.
It is extremely important that you have the assistance of an experienced law firm when battling a charge for possession of controlled substances. There are serious repercussions if you are convicted of a drug crime, and it’s essential that you receive help from a criminal defense attorney at The Law Place so that we can ensure that your rights are protected.
When analyzing your case, a criminal defense lawyer from our team will build a compelling case on your behalf. In doing this, we will assess:
- Whether your constitutional rights have been violated.
- If there were legitimate grounds for your traffic stop.
- If law enforcement had obtained a valid warrant for searching your vehicle or home.
- Whether the controlled substance had been prescribed to you by your doctor.
- Whether law enforcement acted in accordance with proper protocol.
Contact The Law Place Today
If charges have been brought against you for drug crimes, including possession of controlled substances in North Port, then we encourage you to contact us at The Law Place. We have a team of criminal defense attorneys who are skilled in dealing with drug crime cases who can help you.
With over seventy-five years of experience in different practice areas, our law firm is highly experienced in battling drug possession charges. Our team of accomplished criminal defense lawyers is prepared to take on your case and fight to protect your rights. We have the necessary skills and experience to help you win your case involving drug crimes in North Port.
We understand the stress and uncertainty you may feel if you’ve been charged with a drug crime, and that is why we want to assist you. If you decide that you want us to represent you, a criminal defense attorney from our team will conduct a thorough investigation by speaking to any witnesses, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the prosecutor.
Call today for a free consultation at The Law Place, where we will take control of your drug crime case in North Port. We are available by phone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Call us at (941) 444-4444, and we will work together to win your case.