When it comes to the crime of purchasing illegal substances in the United States, Florida has some of the harshest associated laws and penalties. The severity of punishment is associated with the type of illegal substance being purchased and the quantity. If someone is caught possessing or purchasing over 10 grams of a controlled substance, then they could be charged with anything from a misdemeanor to a third, second, or first-degree felony. The penalties will be greater still if the person is charged with the intention to supply or drug trafficking.
If you have been caught being involved in a drug crime in Port Charlotte that involved more than 10 grams of an illegal substance, the best thing you can do is to seek legal support from a criminal defense attorney. Here at The Law Place, we understand how stressful this sort of situation can be. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience in this field and is equipped with the knowledge and skills to give you a fighting chance at getting the charges against you reduced or even dropped. With an in-depth knowledge of Florida’s laws concerning the manufacturing, possession, sale, and purchase of controlled substances, one of our criminal defense attorneys will be able to advise you on the best next steps to take.
We offer a free consultation with legal advice relevant to your case, so why wait? Charges for this type of crime can have a serious impact on your future. So contact us today to take the first steps toward taking back control of your life.
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Florida Law Regarding the Possession of a Controlled Substance
As stated under Florida Statute 893.13, it is illegal to:
- Manufacture or distribute illegal controlled substances.
- Sell illegal controlled substances.
- Possess illegal substances with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver them.
The laws regarding drugs have become particularly strict in Florida in recent years, partly due to the increase in drug overdoses. If you have been caught selling, purchasing, or in possession of more than 10 grams of illegal drugs, then you could be facing charges of intent to sell or even drug trafficking. These carry greater penalties than simple possession. It is more likely that you will be charged with these more serious crimes if you are found with drug paraphernalia as well as a large number of drugs, for example, scales, syringes, or small bags that are associated with the sale of illegal drugs.
If you have been caught in possession of more than 10 grams of an illegal substance, we recommend that you contact a reputable law firm such as The Law Place as soon as possible. One of our criminal defense attorneys will happily discuss the details of your case with you in a free consultation and give you an idea of the sort of charges you might be facing as well as possible defenses for your case.
For a free legal consultation with a purchase of illegal drugs over 10 grams lawyer serving Port Charlotte, call 941-444-4444
The Five Drug Schedules in Port Charlotte, Florida
In the State of Florida, there are five ‘schedules’ of controlled substances, which are categorized according to their potential for abuse, addiction, and harm. You can read about the schedules in Florida Statute 893.03, which contains the full lists of these substances. Each drug is sorted into a certain category, where Schedule I substances are associated with the most severe penalties and Schedule V substances, with the least severe. No matter the schedule of the illegal substance you were caught with, the State of Florida treats drug crime very seriously, so it is highly recommended that you seek legal defense.
Drugs in Schedule I are considered to have an extremely high potential for abuse, addiction, and harm, and there are no currently accepted medical uses in the United States. Possession of these substances in any quantity is illegal. These include:
- MDMA (ecstasy).
- Crack cocaine.
Substances in Schedule II are considered to have a high potential for abuse and the possibility to lead to detrimental physical and psychological side effects. Although some of these substances are recognized to have medical uses, they are strictly controlled. If you obtain these substances in any way other than from your doctor, then this could have serious legal consequences. Drugs in this schedule include:
Drugs in Schedule III are considered to have some medical use that is less restricted than those in Schedule II. They have a moderate to high risk of abuse and have the potential for negative side effects. These include:
- Anabolic steroids.
Drugs classified as Schedule IV substances have a low potential for abuse and dependency compared to those in Schedule III and have currently accepted medical uses, for example, in the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders. Possession of these substances is not illegal as long as you have a prescription from a licensed doctor. These include:
- Diazem (Valium).
- Alprazolam (Xanax).
Schedule V drugs are commonly used for medical purposes and are considered to have a low potential for abuse and dependency. The purchase of these substances is legal as long as they come from a licensed retailer and they meet safety standards. They include:
- Cough medicines containing more than 200mg of codeine per 100ml.
Port Charlotte Purchase of Illegal Drugs over 10 Grams Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Penalties for Possession of Illegal Drugs
Depending on various factors, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a third, second, or first-degree felony charge. For more information about the felonies and misdemeanors associated with drug crimes, consult Florida Statute 775.083. Talking to a criminal defense attorney is a fast way to clarify what you are likely to be charged with according to the specifics of your case.
First-degree misdemeanor – If you are caught in possession of 20 grams or more of marijuana, you can expect a fine of up to $1,000 and a 1-year prison sentence.
Third-degree felony – If you are caught in possession of 10 grams or more of any dangerous controlled substance, then you can expect fines up to $5,000 or up to 5 years in prison.
First-degree felony – If you get caught in possession of up to 10 grams of a Schedule I drug, then you could face fines of up to $10,000 or up to 30 years in prison.
Penalties for the Illegal Purchase of a Controlled Substance in Port Charlotte
The penalties regarding the sale or purchase of illegal drugs in Florida will change depending on the amount and schedule of the drug. The penalty you receive can also depend on:
- Whether you are a minor or if you were caught selling drugs to a minor.
- Whether you are charged with the intent to distribute the illegal drug or whether it was only intended for personal use.
- Whether you have previous drug convictions on your criminal record or whether this was your first drug offense.
- The location of the sale (e.g., the penalty you receive would be higher if you were caught purchasing the substance near a school or playground).
- If the transaction involved any weapons or violence.
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Drug Trafficking in Port Charlotte, Florida
One of the most serious drug charges you can face is drug trafficking. If you have been caught purchasing or in possession of a large amount of illegal drugs, then you could be charged with trafficking, which is associated with severe legal consequences. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you get in touch with a criminal defense attorney with experience in this area of law if you are facing drug trafficking charges.
To be charged with drug trafficking in the State of Florida, you need to be caught with a large amount of a controlled substance, and the minimum quantifying amount varies depending on the drug. The different drug amounts and related penalties are detailed in Florida Statute 893.135. Florida’s drug laws dictate that anyone charged with drug possession over a certain amount will be given mandatory minimum sentences, where a judge will not be able to reduce this minimum number of years in prison. Some specific examples include:
Drug Trafficking Marijuana
To be accused of trafficking marijuana in Port Charlotte, you would need to be caught purchasing or in possession of:
- 300 or more cannabis plants.
- 25 pounds or more of cannabis.
The penalties associated with marijuana trafficking will depend on the amount you were caught with:
- Being caught with between 25-2,000 pounds of cannabis or with 300-2,000 cannabis plants will result in a minimum imprisonment of 3 years and a $25,000 fine.
- Being caught with between 2,000-10,000 pounds of cannabis or equivalent cannabis plants will result in a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 7 years and a fine of $50,000.
- Being caught with 10,000 pounds or more of cannabis or equivalent cannabis plants with result in a 15-year minimum mandatory jail sentence.
Drug Trafficking Cocaine
You will be charged with drug trafficking if you are caught with 28 grams of cocaine or of any mixture containing cocaine. The associated penalties will depend on the amount you are caught with:
- Between 28-200 grams – A minimum mandatory jail sentence of 3 years and a fine of up to $50,000.
- Between 200-400 grams – A minimum mandatory prison sentence of 7 years and a fine of up to $10,000
- Between 400 grams and 150 kilograms – A minimum mandatory jail sentence of 15 years and a $250,000 fine
Drug Trafficking Heroin, Morphine, and Opium Derivatives
You can be charged with drug trafficking if you are caught with 4 grams or more of heroin or any product which contains morphine, hydromorphone, or any other derivative of opium. The penalty incurred will depend on the quantity you are caught with:
- Between 4-14 grams – A $50,000 fine and a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 3 years.
- Between 14-28 grams – A $10,000 fine and a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 15 years.
- Between 28 grams and 30 kilograms – A $50,000 fine and a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 25 years.
How Could a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help With My Drug Charges?
If you have been charged with the possession, sale, or trafficking of a controlled substance in the State of Florida, then you could be facing some severe penalties. We understand how stressful it is to be in this situation, and we want to help. The best thing you can do is to contact a reputable law firm as quickly as possible. This is because evidence and memory degrade with time, so the quicker you start building your defense, the stronger your case is likely to be.
Contact us today to arrange a free case evaluation with one of our defense attorneys. They will go through the specifics of your case with you, offering free legal advice and suggestions about the next steps you could take. Following this initial consultation, if you decide to contract our help, then you will be assigned a defense attorney with relevant experience. They will then guide you through the entire process and build a strong defense to give you the best chance of getting the charges against you reduced or even dropped.
Our phone lines are open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Call now to get started.