Drug possession charges in the State of Florida are taken very seriously. Depending on which substance is in your possession, and your intent with them can lead to years of imprisonment – whether that be five years or even up to thirty years confinement. Depending on both the type and class of the drugs in your possession, it could result in a third-degree felony or first-degree felony.
If you have been accused of possessing illegal drugs with the intent to sell them, it is crucial that you seek a high-quality criminal defense lawyer. The consequences without mitigation of knowledgeable and skillful representation could reap massive and devastating repercussions to your or a loved one’s future.
Here at The Law Place, our team has 75 years of combined experience in fighting against drug charges here in Tampa. We ensure that our clients receive the most minimal punishment possible for their drug crime associated offenses. Each client receives a free consultation over the telephone, entirely free of obligation, and protected by the attorney-client relationship. Our telephone lines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – meaning there is always a time to get in touch with us.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (941) 444-4444!
Florida Statutes for Possession of a Controlled Substance
The Florida Statute that determines the laws regarding possession of a controlled substance is Florida Statute 893.13.
Included in this statute is the description of the kind of punishment that is most suited to the type of drugs that have been found in your possession. Some drugs, when found in an amount such as 10 grams, will automatically be assumed as intent to supply or trafficking charges – both of which carry more severe penalties than others.
To put it into context, if you are found with 20 grams of marijuana in your possession in Tampa, FL., this is considered a misdemeanor offense and results in a penalty of 1 year of incarceration, as well as a fine of $1,000 if it is only your first offense. Conversely, if you are found with 10 grams of MDMA in your possession (which can also be known as ecstasy), you will subsequently face trafficking charges, even though 20 grams of marijuana is higher in weight. This is due to their differences in class. Trafficking MDMA is considered a third-degree felony. If you traffic 10 grams of MDMA, the penalties result in a compulsory minimum sentence of three years in prison as well as a $50,000 total fine. The severity of such penalties is a reflection of the amount of substance in question.
Generally speaking, the laws that surround drug possession in Tampa, FL., and, more broadly, the State of Florida as a whole is incredibly complex. Consequences vary depending on the substance in your possession, as well as the factors such as if they were in your possession with intent to sell.
In any such case, if you find yourself in the position where you are being accused of possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances with intent to sell them, you should not hesitate to get support from a criminal defense lawyer.
For a free legal consultation with a possession of illegal drugs with intent to sell lawyer serving Tampa, call 941-444-4444
Elements of Possession With Intent to Sell
There are several elements that come into question when someone is accused of possession with the intent to sell illegal drugs. In order to prove possession of an illegal substance with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, the prosecutor, along with the State Attorney’s Office, must be able to prove the following elements beyond any reasonable doubt:
- The defendant possessed a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, manufacture, or sell the substance.
- The substance in question is a controlled substance, defined in Florida Statute 893.03.
- The defendant was aware of the illicit capacity of the substance in question.
Under the regulation of drug crimes in Florida, “sell” is defined as the delivery or transfer of something in exchange for money or something of value, or the promise of money or something of value.
“Possession” is defined as the person who had the right of ownership, management, or control over the substance in possession at that time.
Working with a criminal defense lawyer, they can ensure that your case is looked at with a fine-tooth comb to make sure the result is in line with drug charge laws and is fair towards you.
Tampa Possession of Illegal Drugs with Intent to Sell Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Factors That Indicate Intent to Sell or Deliver
Factors that indicate a person had the intent to sell or deliver illegal drugs are listed below:
- A statement admitting there was intent to sell.
- The way in which the drugs look in packaging.
- Drug paraphernalia, such as ‘baggies’ or the presence of scales.
- U.S. currency.
- The presence of violent weapons, e.g., a firearm
- The type of drug in question and it’s quantality.
If any of the above are unable to be proven, this can result in circumstantial evidence that the person who possessed the controlled substance did not have the intention to sell them.
If you are convicted for intent to sell, it can seriously affect you when it comes time to find a house, qualify for a student loan for college, or general financial aid. It can also affect going into higher education and finding employment in the future. Therefore, it is important that you have the right criminal defense lawyer on your side to ensure a brighter future for you and your loved ones.
How Can an Experienced Tampa Drug Lawyer Help You?
There are many different possible defenses to a Tampa, FL., drug charge. An experienced drug crimes attorney can review your case in order to develop the best possible defense in a drug crime case.
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A Motion to Suppress Based on a Miranda Violation
Usually, the only way the police can establish that a person has possessed, sold, or trafficked any kind of drug is by getting a confession from the person. Because the police are aware of this, and their intent is to get a conviction, they sometimes forget to follow the law.
When the police detain and question a suspect, it is vital that they read the person his or her Miranda rights. If an officer does not read the suspect in question his or her Miranda rights before questioning, an experienced Tampa, FL., drug crimes lawyer can file a motion to suppress statements. In some cases, the very filing of a motion to suppress can lead to a reduction of the charge or even dismissal of the case entirely.
If you or a loved one have made a statement to the police about who was in possession of an illegal drug, it’s important to speak with an experienced Tampa drug crimes attorney, as the lawyer will be able to determine whether or not a motion to suppress will be feasible.
A Motion to Suppress Based on Lack of Valid Consent to Search
In this instance, the general rule is that a police offer must receive a warrant before he can search the suspect. However, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule. For example, police can search a suspect if the suspect voluntarily agrees to a search.
In some cases, law enforcement officers make threats and/or promises to get a suspect to consent to a search. A threat sometimes used is that if a suspect does not consent to a search, they could be arrested. Conversely, a police officer might promise the person that if they agree to a search, they won’t be arrested.
If the police make such a threat to get a person to consent to a search, your defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence based on coerced consent to a search. Depending on the case in question, it could lead to the prosecutor reducing charges or even the judge dismissing the case entirely thanks to the work of your attorney.
A Motion to Suppress Based on an Unlawful Canine Search
In some cases, Tampa police will sometimes stop a car for a traffic infraction, asking the driver if they can search the vehicle. If the driver refuses, the next stage is the police calling for a police dog to smell the outside of the vehicle in search of drugs. If there is an alert from the dog, this allows the police to search the car. However, the police must not prolong the stop for the traffic violation in order to conduct the canine search. If the officer does this, the evidence found as a result of the search might not be relevant in court.
If police prolong the stop for a traffic violation in order to conduct a canine search, your drug crimes attorney has the option to file a motion to suppress. This is based on protections that exist both in the U.S. Constitution as well as the Florida Constitution.
A Motion to Suppress Based on an Unlawful Detention
Police officers are not permitted to detain people upon the basis of a hunch that a person is committing an unlawful crime – they must have reasonable suspicion that a person is actually committing the crime before detention.
However, in some cases, police officers stop and detain people for no reason. If this happens, a drug crimes attorney can file a motion to suppress and request that the judge excludes any evidence that was discovered by the police as a result of the unlawful detention. This can result in the State Attorney’s Office reducing charges or a dismissal of the case by the judge.
Insufficient Evidence to Prove Drug Possession
If the police discover a drug or controlled substances in a place where more than one person has access to, in order to convict, the prosecutor would have to then prove that the person was aware of the drug and that they had control over the whereabouts of the drug with the intent to sell them.
There are countless cases in which, unless the person admitted to the police that the controlled substances or drugs belonged to them, the prosecutor won’t be able to prove that the person possessed the drugs, nevermind possession with the intent to sell them on. In such cases, a drug crime defense attorney can contact the prosecutor, requesting the case be dismissed. If unsuccessful, the case can be brought to trial. In many cases, when the prosecutor realizes that the facts are not on the State’s side and that the drugs crime attorney is pushing the case forward, the prosecutor will drop the case entirely or reduce charges.
Important Questions You Should Ask Any Potential Tampa Drug Possession Lawyer
It is important that there is mutual trust between you and your drug crimes attorney. There needs to be a comfortable environment in which you can disclose all the information of your drug possession case and take comfort that they are motivated to minimize the consequences of the charge. It is crucial that you disclose all the information that you have in order for them to culminate the facts together.
The following is a list of questions we would advise you 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?
In any such case, a lawyer should be willing to provide you with previous references of their success stories in order for you to feel comfortable with their representation. A good attorney instills confidence in their clients, giving you the relief that you deserve.
What Separates The Law Place in Tampa From Other Law Firms?
At the Law Place, we understand the severity of a possession with intent case or any cases with the intent to sell. It is a grim position to be in, looking at sentences that vary from 5 up to 30 years. We are here for you. We understand that each situation is unique, and no one has the right to be so harshly judged on one mistake.
It is no secret that drug crime is apparent in Florida. Our criminal defense lawyers recognize how varied the laws surrounding drug possession are in Tampa, FL. No matter what the charge, it has the potential to seriously affect your life.
Our team at The Law Place has an abundance of experience. Our criminal defense lawyers in Tampa have over 75 combined years of experience in possession with intent crimes, having success stories ranging from around all of Florida – not just including Tampa.
Contact The Law Place Today
If any of the above applies to you or a loved one, please get in contact with The Law Place today.
Drug use represents a large scale health crisis in Florida, meaning drug charges are not treated lightly. It is likely that you could be charged with possession with intent unfairly, even with the intent to sell. You could be looking at between five years to thirty years in prison, depending on the substance and whether you end up being charged for a third-degree or first-degree felony is entirely up to the quality of your defense.
You need a legal team that can back you. The Law Place has a proven track record of success in minimizing consequences for drug offenses across Tampa. Working with our team of skilled attorneys will ensure that you are one step closer to a brighter future.
At The Law Place, we offer each client a free consultation via telephone. We are accessible all day, every day, so no time is a bad time to call.
If you would like more information regarding your case or general legal advice, contact one of our team at (941) 444-4444 today!