All across the United States of America, drug crimes are taken extremely seriously. However, even amongst the rest of the states, the law in the State of Florida carries harsh penalties for drug crime cases, especially those that demonstrate the intent to sell controlled substances. As well as this, Florida drug charges are particularly complicated and confusing, with many different types of criminal charges possible. The severity of your charge will vary depending on the type of substance involved and the amount of said substance.
This is why it is so important to secure legal representation by a criminal defense attorney with excellent qualifications and experience, to stand the best chance of getting the charges against you either downgraded in severity or dismissed in their entirety. Thankfully, the lawyer team at The Law Place in St. Petersburg has a combined 75 years of experience successfully defending those accused of drug offenses.
To find out how we can help you if you have been accused of drug crimes in Florida, schedule a free consultation with our office today. We will discuss your case over the phone and provide a free case evaluation at no obligation, which is completely covered by the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship.
Our lines are always open, so contact us today on (941) 444-4444 to find out how an attorney can help you.
How Are Drug Crimes in Florida Handled by the Law?
The details of the various different criminal charges associated with the possession, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances in Florida are contained within Florida Statute 893.13.
However, as previously mentioned, the law in regard to drugs can be very complex, with many possible variables. The penalties for the crime of purchasing a controlled substance with the intent to sell it will depend on both the amount and the type of substance purchased.
To give an illustrative example of how the amount and type of drug change the outcome of a guilty conviction for drug crimes, we will contrast the penalties for possession of marijuana and cocaine.
If you are found in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana in St. Petersburg, you are looking at misdemeanor drug crime with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year and a maximum fine of $1,000. Once you exceed this amount, the drug crime becomes a felony with between 5-30 years in prison possible, depending on the amount of marijuana in question.
In contrast, any amount of cocaine that is less than 28 grams will still get you a third-degree felony with up to 5 years in prison. Any amount larger than this could see you facing drug trafficking charges which could result in a first-degree felony and up to 30 years in prison.
The best way to find out the potential penalties for your specific possession with intent to sell charge is to call our law firm today for a free consultation. Without any obligation, we can let you know exactly what you are up against.
For a free legal consultation with a purchase of illegal drugs with intent to sell lawyer serving St. Petersburg, call 941-444-4444
The Five Schedules of Controlled Substance
Any illegal drug that is considered a controlled substance will be placed in one of the five controlled substance schedules.
These schedules run from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I substances marked out by the government as those drugs most likely to cause high degrees of harm, abuse, addiction, and danger. Generally speaking, the higher the schedule, the more severe the punishment for possession with intent to sell.
The following are examples of where different controlled substance types fit into the scheduling system:
- Schedule I – Crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.
- Schedule II – Morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and Ritalin.
- Schedule III – Ketamine, anabolic steroids, and codeine.
- Schedule IV – Xanax, Valium, Lorazepam, and Diazepam.
- Schedule V – Lyrica, Motfen, and cough syrups containing less than 200 milligrams of codeine.
St. Petersburg Purchase of Illegal Drugs with Intent to Sell Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
The Legal Penalties for St. Petersburg Drug Crimes
As mentioned above, the penalties for your possession with intent to sell drug crime will differ depending on the type and amount of controlled substance in question.
The following are the punishments for each level of a drug offense.
- A prison sentence of up to 30 years.
- A fine as high as $10,000, as per Florida Statute 775.083.
- A permanent felony mark on your criminal record.
- A prison sentence of up to 15 years.
- A fine as high as $10,000.
- A permanent felony mark on your criminal record.
- A prison sentence of up to 5 years.
- A fine as high as $5,000.
- A permanent felony mark on your criminal record.
- A prison sentence of up to 1 year.
- A fine as high as $1,000.
As you can see, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell is an extremely serious charge.
However, the prosecution in criminal law cases must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This will allow your St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney room to cast doubt on the evidence and get the charge against you diminished or dismissed.
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The Consequences of a Felony on Your Criminal Record
If the prosecution is successful in finding you guilty for a felony-level charge of possession with intent to sell, this will stay on your criminal record forever. When it comes to felonies, there is no way any law firm will be able to get your record sealed or expunged.
The consequences of having possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell on your record will include:
- Damage to your employment competitivity and earning potential, as any potential job will be able to view your permanent record upon your application.
- Trouble securing loans and mortgages from banks and other lenders.
- Problems getting approved for specific specialist licenses and permits.
- Future trouble in court situations, such as custody battles.
This is why the support of an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a solid defense strategy is so important. If you are successfully charged with possession to a felony degree, the consequences will follow you for the rest of your life, far outside the State of Florida.
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Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences for Those Charged With Possession in Florida
Another thing that makes any drug possession charge incredibly serious in St. Petersburg, FL., is the state’s laws with regard to giving those convicted a mandatory minimum stay in prison. This means that the prison sentence attached to your drug possession charge is the one you will receive, and individual judges cannot demonstrate any leniency. The only way to get the sentence lowered is to get the actual drug charges leveled against you decreased in severity. This is yet another reason why the support of a reputable and capable law firm is so essential.
Actual Possession of a Controlled Substance vs. Constructive Possession
There are two types of drug possession under Florida law: possession and constructive possession.
Possession is when it can be proven that the controlled substance was on the body or person of the defendant.
Constructive possession, which is harder for the prosecution to prove, involves situations where the drugs were found in a potentially communal area such as a motor vehicle or communal living area.
Constructive possession cases are much easier for an attorney to cast doubt upon, as the following three criteria must be proven:
- That the drug located in the communal space was under the direct control of the defendant.
- That the defendant was aware the drug was located in this area.
- That the defendant was aware of the illegal status of the drug.
Potential Defenses a Lawyer Can Use Against Your Possession With Intent Drug Charge
Despite the harsh penalties involved in a drug crime committed in St. Petersburg, FL., there are still a large number of defensive precedents available that your lawyer can use to challenge the charges against you. Remember, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty, and any areas of doubt or malpractice by law enforcement officials will unlock a potential way out.
Here at The Law Place, we believe that every client deserves a personally tailored defense that is built around the actual details and specifics of their case. However, these strategies will also often draw upon and include aspects of the following common defenses:
- The law enforcement officers in the case were demonstrating entrapment.
- The drugs or drug paraphernalia did not belong to the defendant.
- There were flaws in the way the controlled substance was identified or weighed.
- Evidence for the case was obtained illegally and is therefore inadmissible.
- Misidentification of the defendant.
To find out which of these factors are relevant to your possession with intent to sell the case, give The Law Place main office a call today for free legal advice at no obligation.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been accused of possession of illegal drugs with the intent to sell them, it is important that you secure the help of an experienced lawyer to avoid the consequences of a guilty conviction. On top of huge fines and prison terms, a felony will continue to impact you for the rest of your life.
Here at The Law Place, our attorney team has 75 years of combined experience helping those in your exact same position. We offer everybody a free consultation that is fully confidential and obligation-free, where we will give you the full legal roadmap of your defense and the total cost, with no hidden fees added on in the future. If you cannot afford the lump sum payment, we will be able to work out a personalized payment plan so that you can still receive the legal defense your situation deserves.
To find out more about how our attorney team can help you and to schedule a free consultation, call our office at any time of the day or night. Our number is (941) 444-4444!
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