Drug charges in Florida are extremely serious. Depending on the substance, possessing amounts of ten grams or more can lead to a year’s imprisonment, five years, or even 30 years or more of incarceration. This is because, depending on the drug, an amount of ten grams or more can be considered enough of a substance to qualify you for trafficking charges. These could result in a third-degree or first-degree felony.
If you have been accused of possessing over ten grams of a controlled substance, it could not be more important to seek a high-quality criminal defense lawyer. The consequences without the mitigation of knowledgeable and skillful representation could be devastating to your future.
Here at The Law Place, our team has 75 combined years of experience fighting drug charges and ensuring our clients receive the most minimal punishments possible for their offenses. We offer each client a free consultation over the telephone that is free of obligation and entirely protected by attorney-client privileges. Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Use our law firm for the best chance of a brighter future.
Contact us on (941) 444-4444 today!
Florida Statutes for Possession of a Controlled Substance
The Florida state statute that determines the laws regarding possession of a controlled substance is Florida Statute 893.13.
This statute states that the punishment for your possession charges will depend on the type of drug found upon your person. Some drugs, when found in amounts of 10 grams, will automatically result in intent to supply or trafficking charges – which carry much harsher penalties.
For example, if you are found with up to 20 grams of marijuana in your possession in Tampa, this would be considered a misdemeanor offense and carries penalties of up to one year of incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,000 for your first offense. However, if you are found in possession of ten grams of MDMA (also known as ecstasy), you can face trafficking charges, even though 20 grams of marijuana is a higher weight. Trafficking MDMA is a third-degree felony. The penalties for trafficking ten grams of MDMA are a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The severity of the penalties also increases as the amount of substance does.
As you can see, the laws surrounding drug possession in the state of Florida are not only potentially very severe but also complex and vary depending on the substance in your possession, as well as other additional factors.
As such, if you find yourself accused of possession of ten grams or more of a controlled substance, you should waste no time in securing the backing of an experienced and trustworthy attorney.
For a free legal consultation with a possession of illegal drugs over 10 grams lawyer serving Tampa, call 941-444-4444
Types of Drug Charge in Tampa, FL.
There are several different categories of offenses that drug charges can fall under. These include:
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – Paraphernalia includes any instrument or equipment which is designed for the purposes of storing, manufacturing, producing, concealing, selling, transporting, cultivating, or planting controlled substances.
- Selling a controlled substance
- Manufacturing a controlled substance
- Trafficking a controlled substance
Each of these drug charges carries serious consequences. If you are in the position of being accused of any of these drug crimes, get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Law Place for the best chance of minimizing your potentially life-altering penalties.
Tampa Possession of Illegal Drugs over 10 Grams Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Drug Types by Schedules
As mentioned earlier, the penalties for drug crimes are governed by Florida Statute 893.13. This statute divides drugs classified as controlled substances into five separate categories – these categories are known as schedules.
The schedules are designed to refer to the government’s perceived addiction and harm potential of the drug. The drugs with the highest potential for addiction and harm are schedule one, with schedule five signifying the lowest illegal potential for abuse.
Schedule One Drugs
The drugs belonging to the category of schedule one are those with the very highest potential for abuse, with no existing approved use within the medical field.
These drugs logically carry the most severe punishments for possession of over ten grams, as this can often be argued as more than personal use with intent to supply or sell the drugs. If you are found in possession of more than ten grams of a schedule one drug, you could be looking at first-degree felony charges and a considerable amount of years in prison.
Common schedule one drugs include drugs like crack, meth, LSD, and heroin.
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Schedule Two Drugs
Drugs belonging to the category of schedule two are similarly categorized by a high potential for addiction, risk, and harm. These drugs often have accepted medical uses and are sometimes distributed through medical prescriptions.
Common schedule two drugs include cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone (brand name OxyContin), methamphetamine, Adderall, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Dexedrine, methadone, hydrocodone per dosage units (brand name Vicodin), meperidine (brand name Demerol), Ritalin, and morphine.
Schedule Three Drugs
Drugs categorized as schedule three possess less potential for addiction and abuse.
Common schedule three drugs include steroids, ketamine, and codeine products, which contain an amount of codeine lower than 90 milligrams per dose.
Schedule Four Drugs
Drugs categorized as schedule four are deemed a low risk of abuse, dependency, and harm.
Common schedule four drugs include Talwin, Soma, Darvon, Ambien, Darvocet, Xanax, Valium, Tramadol, and Ativan.
Schedule Five Drugs
Drugs categorized as schedule five have the least risk of abuse, harm, and addiction of all the controlled substances.
Common schedule five drugs include Motfen, Lomotil, Lyrica, cough syrups containing codeine in amounts of less than 200 milligrams, and Parapectolin.
What Common Defenses Are Employed by a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer Against Drug Charges?
Each person accused of drug crimes has a different set of circumstances and a separate situation which led to their arrest. As such, a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place will tailor each defense for the accused to that person’s situation.
However, for the purposes of information and reassurance, some of the most common defenses applying to drug crimes are as follows:
- Accusations of deliberate entrapment on the part of the law enforcement officers that led to the arrest of the accused.
- The drug found on the possession of the accused did not belong to them.
- The way in which the law enforcement officers identified the controlled substances in the accused’s possession was a flawed method.
- The law enforcement officers involved in the accused’s arrest obtained their evidence in an illegal manner.
- The one accused of possession of the illegal drug was identified incorrectly.
- The law enforcement officers involved in the case did not possess a warrant to search and seize, or if they did possess a warrant, it was invalid in some way.
- The illegal drug in the possession of the accused weighed less than ten grams in reality.
The way in which your criminal defense lawyer approaches the defense for your alleged drug crimes will depend entirely on the specifics of your situation.
This is why The Law Place in Tampa offers each of its potential clients a free consultation over the telephone. The consultation will work to establish the facts surrounding your case and build an idea of potential defenses while working to reassure you of what we can do for you. All of our free consultations are at no obligation and are fully protected by the attorney-client relationship, so you don’t have to worry about what you disclose to us.
What Is Constructive Possession?
While the laws around drug possession in Florida are usually clear-cut, there are some situations where the situation can be harder to interpret.
Constructive possession is one of these cases. Constructive possession is when the drug, let us say cocaine for this example, is not found on your person but in a common area such as a car.
In this situation, the police would have to prove that the cocaine was within the control of the accused. They would also have to prove that the accused knew the cocaine was stashed in this location. They would also have to prove that the accused was fully aware that the drug was illegal. The burden of proof for these things is on the government, and it must be provided to a level beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they must supply concrete proof on each of these three points.
Investigating Your Arrest for Alleged Drug Crimes
Once you have agreed to be represented by The Law Place, the first practical step we take with each of our clients accused of possession of an illegal drug is to thoroughly investigate their arrest. This investigation will include an inquiry into the evidence, both its quality and the manner in which it was obtained.
Even the smallest of flaws in the methods of the law enforcement officers involved in your arrest can be used to your direct advantage by an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those on our team at The Law Place. In severe cases, these could save you from being sentenced to a first-degree felony and having to serve times as long as 30 years in prison.
Your lawyer will investigate whether the police officers involved in your Tampa possession case carried out their actions within the legal bounds of the constitution and all other relevant laws that apply to your situation. It is possible that some of your rights were violated, for example, the rights afforded to you under the Fourth Amendment. If this is the case, all of the evidence in your drug possession case could be suppressed by your criminal defense lawyer and would thus be inadmissible in court. If your lawyer is able to achieve this, it will become highly unlikely that your trial would result in a prison sentence or conviction.
Your lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure that you enter the courtroom in Tampa with the strongest defense possible and to ensure that this defense is presented in the most effective and compelling way. This will ensure that the prosecution knows that we are taking your case seriously and are committed to a positive result. In the event that we cannot get your drug possession charges dropped, we will likely be able to lessen your consequences beyond what is achievable without legal representation. This could come in the form of preventing a first-degree felony charge, thus lessening the total potential years in prison.
Drug offenses are taken extremely seriously in the state of Florida, and the laws surrounding them are complex and often unforgiving. As such, having the support of an experienced and knowledgeable Tampa drug possession lawyer like those available to clients of The Law Place can make a huge difference to your future.
What Should You Look for When Hiring a Drug Possession Defense Lawyer in Tampa, FL?
If you have found yourself in the position of being accused of the possession of ten or more grams of an illegal substance, whether it be marijuana or cocaine, you could be looking at life-altering consequences. This means that you must then be able to trust the legal representation you hire to be both savvy and committed enough to achieve the best outcome for your case. You require a lawyer with high levels of expertise, skill, and someone to whom you feel comfortable divulging the entire truth of your case.
A high-quality attorney may be able to offer you the following:
- Dismissed, or at least reduced charges. For example, from a first-degree to a third-degree felony.
- Assistance in lowering the severity of your consequences.
- Reduction of jail time to a minimum.
- Development and presentation of the best defense for your circumstances.
Before placing your trust in a law firm, it is logical that you should seek as much information about them as possible to ensure they are what they advertise themselves to be. Thanks to the internet, it is incredibly easy to research testimonials and reviews from real previous clients who have experienced representation by a specific law firm. You will often also be able to find the results of their specific cases.
Another factor worth considering when seeking out your Tampa drug possession lawyer is how the law firm operates. Some law firms will assign a single lawyer to your case, whereas others will pool their resources and knowledge and operate each case as a team. The Law Place believes in the latter approach. While you will be assigned one specific primary lawyer, we operate all of our cases as a combined team in order to make the most of each of our attorney’s knowledge. With The Law Place, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of several lawyers for the price of just one.
It is important that you trust your first impressions and instincts when it comes to the trustworthiness of potential legal representation. They should offer you a free consultation at no obligation, fully protected by the attorney-client relationship. They should also provide you with a road map of the legal process and a clear breakdown of their fee system. This way, you will not make any decisions before all of the information is available to you.
To reiterate a previously mentioned point, you should try to ensure that you have the payment scheme written out before agreeing to anything. That way, you will not be caught out with any surprises. Additionally, you should be wary of any firm that charges less than their competitors by a surprising amount as they may be relying on undisclosed hidden fees to bulk out their earnings.
Important Questions You Should Ask Any Potential Tampa Drug Possession Lawyer
As stated earlier, it is important that you have mutual trust between you and your attorney. You should feel comfortable disclosing all of the facts of your drug possession case and should trust that they are motivated to minimize the consequences of the charges against you. The more intimately they are aware of the details surrounding your case, the better defense they will be able to build. Whether you are fighting a first-degree or a third-degree charge, it is important that your lawyer has all of the facts.
The following is a shortlist of questions we would advise you to ask any lawyer potentially representing your Tampa drug possession case:
- Have you been involved in cases in the past that are similar to mine?
- Can you give me the specifics of the fees you charge, and can we work together to develop a payment plan?
- In cases that were similar to mine in the past, did you win?
- What number of jury trials have you been involved in litigating?
- What is your plea bargain track record?
- Would I be able to see some references or testimonials from previous clients of yours?
Special attention should be paid to the final question. If a lawyer is unable or unwilling to provide you with references, this is a huge red flag. A good lawyer should be proud of their track record and more than willing to share stories of their success. They should want you to feel confident and comfortable with the representation they are offering and should do everything in their power to set you at ease and alleviate any anxieties you may have.
What Separates The Law Place in Tampa From Other Law Firms?
Here at The Law Place, we understand and continually practice the importance of approaching each case with a combination of skill and compassion. We understand how terrifying it can be to stare down the barrel of a sentence that could last 30 years. We also understand that everybody’s situation is different and that nobody should be judged on a single mistake.
Our lawyers recognize how harsh the laws regarding drug possession are in Florida. Jail time involves a potential loss of a period of your life, whether that be five years or 30 years. We are committed to standing by your side through the entire process while pursuing every avenue for your defense. We will tailor your defense strategy, which takes into account not only the details you have given to us but also the audience who will be listening, whether that be a jury or judge.
The team of criminal defense lawyers belonging to The Law Place in Tampa has over 75 combined years of experience. Our lawyers are never content with their current skill level and seek to constantly sharpen and hone their skills both inside and outside of the courtroom. We have success stories from almost all of the Florida counties and many from Tampa. We also have experience dealing with Federal Court Cases. A large number of our lawyers have also achieved an AVVO 10.0 rating, the highest rating possible, based around awards, practice length, trial skills, client reviews, and associations.
Contact The Law Place Today
Drug use represents a large-scale health crisis in Florida. As such, fairly or unfairly, those who possess quantities of drugs exceeding ten grams are punished harshly. You could be looking at between five years and thirty years in prison, depending on the substance and whether you end up being charged for a third-degree or first-degree felony.
For this reason, high-quality legal representation has never been more important than if you have been accused of the above. The Law Place has a proven track record of minimizing the consequences for drug offenses. Through the use of one of our skilled attorneys, you could be looking at a brighter future. Don’t let a drug-based mistake define the course of the rest of your life. Seize the best chance at taking control with experienced and knowledgeable representation from our firm.
We are happy to offer each potential client a free consultation over the telephone, with our lines open all day, every day. Our consultations are always at no obligation and are protected by attorney-client information privileges from the outset.
If you would like more information or free legal advice, contact one of our team at (941) 444-4444 today!