If you have been accused of manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to sell, then you are up against one of the most severe drug charges possible in the Florida legal system. Those accused of manufacturing a controlled substance to sell will likely receive a combination of the penalties for both drug possession with the intent to sell and also charges of drug trafficking.
To stand the best chance of avoiding massive fines, a long prison sentence, and a felony that will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer with thorough knowledge of the various Florida statutes on drug crimes.
Here at The Law Place in St. Petersburg, FL., our legal team has over 75 years of combined experience defending those in your exact position. Every prospective client calling our firm is entitled to a free consultation, which will take place under no obligation and be entirely confidential under the attorney-client relationship.
To find out how more about how a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can help you, call us today and schedule a free consultation on (941) 444-4444!
How Florida Drug Laws Define Manufacturing a Controlled Substance
The specifics of Florida’s drug laws in relation to the manufacturing of a controlled substance with the intent to sell can be found in Florida Statute 893.13. This states that any person who contributes to any stage of the process of controlled substance manufacture is committing this drug crime. This also goes for anyone who is found to have any degree of involvement in the various processes of preparing, compounding, cultivating, growing, converting, processing, packaging, relabelling, or repacking controlled substances.
Not only this, but it is also possible to receive a Florida drug charge if you are found in possession of or attempting to make the sale of any kind of specialist equipment or chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of controlled substances.
The Penalties for a Guilty Conviction
If you are found guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to sell, the severity of the penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of your case, especially the type of drug in question and its total weight.
Generally speaking, the severity of penalties scales with the drug schedules, with Schedule I substances carrying the harshest punishments and Schedule V substances carrying the least harsh.
As those charged with manufacturing are also commonly looking at complex legal cases featuring additional charges of possession with intent to sell and/or drug trafficking, it is hard to give an exact idea of the punishment to expect if you are found guilty. It is extremely likely that you will be facing at least a second-degree felony in most cases.
The following drug types and weights will qualify a person for a second-degree felony drug crime:
- Up to 4 grams of opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.
- Up to 28 grams of phencyclidine (street name PCP).
- Up to 14 grams of methamphetamine.
The punishment for a second-degree felony is up to 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a permanent felony on your criminal history, which will impact your employment competitivity, credit, and many other things for the rest of your life.
If you exceed the boundaries for second-degree felony charges, then the penalties for a first-degree felony increase to up to 30 years in prison.
It is also possible that those arrested for drug manufacturing will be charged with an entirely separate second-degree felony charge for the possession of chemicals used to produce controlled substances. Additionally, the renting of an area with the intention to manufacture drugs can result in a separate third-degree felony charge.
As you can see, these extremely serious charges have the potential to dramatically change the life of any person successfully convicted. If you have been accused of any of the above drug crimes, get in touch with a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney from The Law Place as quickly as possible.
The Five Drug Schedules in Florida Criminal Law
All controlled substances in Florida will belong to one of the five drug schedules.
These run from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I controlled substances being those that the law deems the most dangerous in terms of harm and addiction potential. The consequences for manufacture, trafficking, or possession of a controlled substance will also usually scale with the schedules, with Schedule I again receiving the harshest punishments.
The following is a list of how common illegal drugs fit into the scheduling system:
- Schedule I – LSD, ecstasy, crack cocaine, and heroin.
- Schedule II – Ritalin, fentanyl, methadone, and morphine.
- Schedule III – Anabolic steroids, codeine, and ketamine.
- Schedule IV – Diazepam, Valium, Xanax and Lorazepam.
- Schedule V – Motfen, Lyrica, and some cough syrups that contain codeine.
Proving Guilt in Florida Drug Manufacturing Cases
The good news for those accused of the serious crime of manufacturing controlled substances is that burden of proof when it comes to criminal law is high, and the prosecution must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This means proving the following three aspects:
- That the defendant clearly had in their possession a controlled substance that they had manufactured, and they intended to sell this substance.
- That the controlled substance was indeed one of the substances contained within Florida Statute 893.13.
- That the defendant was clearly in full knowledge of the fact the substance in their possession is illegal in Florida.
If the prosecution is unable to demonstrate all of the above beyond a reasonable doubt, then you stand a good chance of having your charges diminished or dropped entirely. It is the job of your St. Petersburg drug crime criminal defense attorney to cast doubt on all of the above.
What Counts As Evidence of Drug Possession With the Intent to Sell?
In order for the prosecution to convict you for any charge that includes drug possession with the intent to sell, they must have suitable evidence of your intention. This usually takes the form of one of the following:
- The defendant is in possession of large amounts of cash stashed upon their person, in their motor vehicle, in their home, or near where the drugs were found.
- There was packaging equipment near the location of the drugs.
- There was drug paraphernalia (testing kits, scales, mixing devices, rolling papers, etc.) near the drugs.
- The defendant was in possession of weaponry.
- Law enforcement received information from somebody else who was part of the manufacture of the drugs.
- The amount of drugs in the possession of the defendant was excessive enough to demonstrate intent to sell.
What Are the Common Defenses for Those Accused of Manufacturing Drugs?
There are a number of different defense precedents that your St. Petersburg drug crimes lawyer can draw upon, which we will list below:
- The weight or type of the controlled substance in question was inaccurately calculated, or the method used to identify it was flawed.
- Law enforcement officers were acting illegally in making their arrest, such as demonstrating entrapment or failing to obtain the necessary warrant.
- The defendant was a misidentified suspect.
- Neither the drugs nor the manufacturing equipment belonged to the defendant.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place, your defense strategy will always be tightly personalized and highly tailored to the specific facts and events surrounding your charges. This way, you stand the greatest chance of beating the serious charges leveled against you.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you are someone who has been accused of the serious offense of manufacturing drugs with the intent to sell them, you could be looking at a huge fine, years in prison, and a permanent criminal record that will stand in the way of your employment prospects for the rest of your life. To stand the best chance at getting your charges either downgraded or dismissed entirely, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney from a reputable law firm.
Here at The Law Place, our firm has been supporting clients throughout Florida for a combined 75 years. We offer everybody a free consultation when they call, without requiring any obligation. All communications are covered by the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship, and our lines are always open!
To find out more about how a lawyer from our law firm could help you to avoid the consequences of a guilty conviction, call us today at (941) 444-4444!