Drug crimes are taken very seriously across the entire State of Florida, including Sarasota County. They come in various different forms: such as possession of a controlled substance, the selling of a controlled substance, or the delivery of an illegal substance, also known as ‘drug trafficking.’ The consequences are dire and can change your life forever. If you have a large amount of a controlled substance found on your person, you will most likely be convicted of a felony. This is followed by a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Having this kind of conviction on your criminal record will affect you for the rest of your life, adding serious complications in future life-choices.
At The Law Place, our team has a combined 75 years of experience working on Sarasota drug crime cases, as well as drug crime cases across Florida. Upon calling, you will receive a no-obligation, free consultation with one of our well-equipped Sarasota criminal defense lawyers. Together, you will build a strong attorney-client relationship, as they will coach and guide you through this legal process every step of the way.
There is never a bad time to get in touch with us. Our telephone lines are open around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all-year-round. A criminal defense attorney will be waiting to hear from you. Call today on (941) 444-4444.
Drug Laws in Sarasota, FL.
Laws surrounding controlled substances are incredibly complex, and conviction charges are highly dependant on the amount of illegal drugs you have on your person during your arrest. Once this is established, the appropriate penalties will follow. Should you want to seek more information about Sarasota’s illegal drug laws, you can find out more at Florida Statute 893.13.
We would like to offer you an example so that these complex laws can make more sense. If you are a citizen of Sarasota, FL., and are caught by a law enforcement officer with less than 14 grams of illegal drugs, this could possibly be charged as a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for such an offense usually entails one-year of imprisonment along with a monetary fine of $1,000. However, if you were caught drug trafficking over 20 grams of illegal drugs, the charge becomes a felony. This is a much more serious charge, and depending on how much you have exactly, the charges that follow could involve 5-30 years imprisonment. The fine will also become much greater. No matter what the context, whether you are charged with a first-degree felony or a third-degree felony, this is not something that you want to have on your criminal record for life, as the consequences on your future are dire.
The State of Florida conducts itself under mandatory minimum sentencing laws. In a usual sentencing situation, the judge could potentially make room for a more lenient sentence, depending on the context of your particular case. If it is the case that you are found guilty of being in possession of a controlled substance, it is routine for the judge to follow standard procedure and apply to you the mandatory minimum prison sentence. They vary, depending on the amount of illegal drugs in your possession, but can range from three up to thirty years of imprisonment.
As you can probably tell, trying to navigate through drug crime laws in Florida is tricky. For this reason, it is incredibly important that you have the correct legal representation on your side to guide you through this process. If you find yourself in this position, do not think you have to go through it alone. Call today to schedule a free consultation. A Sarasota drug lawyer will be waiting for your call.
What Are the Different Drug Charges in Sarasota, Florida?
Listed below are the different kind of drug crime charges that you can be charged with in Sarasota, FL.:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia. This is referencing anything that is designed for cultivating, concealing, planting, producing, storing, selling, or transporting a controlled illegal substance.
- Being in possession of a controlled substance.
- Selling or distributing a controlled substance.
- Drug trafficking a controlled substance.
- The manufacturing of a controlled substance.
There are other offenses that can occur other than possession of illegal drugs that you can be charged for. It is possible in Sarasota to be convicted of a drug charge even if you do not have actual drugs in your possession. This is known as being in possession of drug paraphernalia. There is also an extensive category of convictions, which can range from anything such as cultivating, concealing, manufacturing, producing, planting, manufacturing, drug trafficking, or storing a controlled substance. All in all, any kind of drug charge is a bad one, so this is not a position you want to find yourself in, no matter what the capacity.
What Are Controlled Substance Schedules?
In Sarasota, as listed in Florida Statute 893.03, controlled substances are split into five different categories, and these are known as drug schedules. How they are categorized is in relation to how addictive the controlled substance is and what potential they have to cause harm to someone. Schedule I illegal drugs are considered to have the potential to cause the most harm, and Schedule V illegal drugs are considered to be the least harmful. Listed below are examples of the different kinds of controlled substances that are in each schedule.
As stated previously, Schedule One illegal drugs are the most addictive, dangerous, and have the highest potential for abuse. As well as this, they are known to have zero approved usage within the medical field. If you are trafficking these drugs or found in possession of them etc., they will come with extremely severe charges. If you are convicted by law enforcement officers with Schedule One drugs in your possession, you will be charged with a first-degree felony as well as facing 30 years of imprisonment. Examples of Schedule I drugs include crack cocaine, heroin, LSD, and meth.
Schedule Two illegal drugs are a strand lower than schedule one, but equally share a high possibility of someone becoming addicted to them. The main difference is that some of them do, in fact, have medical uses and can actually be prescribed by a medical professional in some circumstances. Included in this category are Adderall, cocaine, Dexedrine, methadone, meperidine, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and Ritalin.
In this category, there is a lesser possibility that a person can abuse or become addicted to these drugs. Included in this category are steroids, ketamine, or products that contain less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit.
This is the second-lowest risk section regarding abuse or dependence. Included are Ambien, Ativan, Darvon, Darvocet, tramadol, valium, and Xanax.
This is the lowest risk category. Included in this section is cough syrup with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or other controlled substances such as Lyrica, Lomotil, Paraceptolin, or Motofen.
What Are the Possible Defenses Against Drug Trafficking in Sarasota, FL?
There are several possible areas of defense that your experienced criminal defense attorney can use in order to fight your corner. All of this will be relative to the context of your specific circumstances. Including your arrest, how much you had in your possession, what type of drug it is, and what you are being charged with. Listed below are some of the defenses your attorney can use:
- You could have been the victim of entrapment on the part of law enforcement officers.
- You were not the actual owner of the illegal drugs found on your person.
- There was a misidentification of the controlled substance by the law enforcement officers.
- You were identified incorrectly as being the one in possession of the drug or drug trafficking.
- The search warrant used at the time of your arrest was invalid, or the law enforcement officers acted without a search warrant at all.
- The controlled substance that was seized at the scene could have potentially been weighed incorrectly.
Contact The Law Place Today
As you can see, drug trafficking and general drug charges in Sarasota are a confusing field, which is why it is so important that you have confidence in the criminal defense lawyer that you hire. This could be the difference between several years in prison, or even 30 years in prison, or the potential to have your charges dropped entirely. You likely feel as if all hope is lost, with the evidence stacked against you and it all being too much to rectify. However, we urge you not to lose hope just yet. At The Law Place, we understand your stress. We pride ourselves on being a reputable law firm, with the aim of giving you and your loved ones the best chance at a fair trial.
Call our Sarasota firm today, and you will receive a free consultation with a member of our team. We have helped in many cases across Sarasota and the State of Florida that are similar to yours – so let us help you. Our telephone lines are open all-year-round, so do not hesitate to contact us on (941) 444-4444.