Florida’s position in the United States of America makes it an ideal location for drug trade and international drug trafficking. For this reason, drug charges in the state are taken very seriously. It is possible to receive a misdemeanor, third-degree felony, second-degree felony, or even first-degree felony charge for possession with intent to sell, depending on the type and amount of controlled substance found in your possession.
Florida operates a minimum mandatory sentence law, which means that judges will have no sliding room when sentencing jail terms. This means that as a result of being caught with a controlled substance with intent to sell, you could be facing one year, five years, thirty years, or a life sentence in prison.
Luckily, the terms for deciding possession with intent to sell in Tampa are vague and quite easily contested. In the rush to make arrests, law enforcement officers often do not provide suitably substantial evidence to prove the intent to sell part of the drug charges. This means it will be easier for a skilled criminal defense attorney to get the charges reduced to possession or even lower. The Law Place has also succeeded in getting drug charges dropped entirely for various reasons.
If you are seeking representation by an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney for charges of drug possession with intent to sell, look no further than The Law Place in Tampa, FL. Our law firm boasts a team with over 75 years of combined experience defending those accused of drug charges. We offer free, no-obligation consultations over the phone, and our lines are always open.
For more information about how we can help get your charges reduced or even dismissed, contact us at (941) 444-4444 today!
Drug Statutes in Tampa, FL.
All of Florida’s drug laws are governed by the terms laid out in Florida Statute 893.13.
The statute determines where the boundaries lie between possession, personal use, and trafficking charges. While personal use charges are still severe, the real danger is being accused of drug trafficking. Due to the amounts required to meet the threshold for trafficking with higher schedule substances, many are found guilty of trafficking when they may not be taking part in the process. This why representation by a skilled criminal defense lawyer is so important to avoid any chance of greater charges like a second-degree or first-degree felony.
An Example of Drug Possession Boundaries in Tampa
As the amount and schedule of the controlled substance in question will determine the punishment level, we will give an example.
Suppose you are found in possession of fewer than twenty grams of marijuana in Tampa. In that case, you will face misdemeanor charges resulting in a maximum of a year’s incarceration and a fine of $1,000. However, once you exceed the threshold of twenty grams, the charges become a felony – whether it is a third-degree felony or higher depends on the amount of marijuana found in your possession. The fines here reach an upper bracket of $200,000.
Now, a second example to demonstrate how the boundaries for trafficking charges fluctuate per substance.
If you are found with cocaine in your possession in Tampa, you will only receive possession charges (which are a third-degree felony in this case) if you have less than twenty-eight grams in your possession. However, once you exceed the threshold of twenty-eight grams, the charges instead become trafficking charges. These are considered a first-degree felony and, depending on the amount of substance, can land you a life sentence amount of years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
As you can likely see by our two examples, the boundaries and charges associated with certain weights of different drugs vary widely. Plus, often, there isn’t any concrete logic as to where the boundaries are drawn.
For detailed and specific information concerning the amount and type of drug in your possession with an intent drug charge, contact The Law Place as soon as possible. We can give you a free consultation, which will detail the intricacies of the charges you are up against.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Tampa
As mentioned briefly earlier, Tampa is covered by Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing rules in relation to controlled substance possession charges.
This means, unlike many other criminal charges, there will be no way the judge can impose a more lenient amount of years in prison than the case requires. If the punishment for your controlled substance was five years in prison, then this is what you will be sentenced to.
However, this does not mean that you should despair. There are still ways around the mandatory minimum sentence system with representation by a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. If your attorney succeeds in getting the charges against you downgraded, you will face a lower mandatory minimum sentence associated with your new charges. If the attorney manages to get your case dismissed entirely, then you have nothing to worry about.
Drug Schedules Explained
Drugs considered a controlled substance in Tampa are divided into five separate categories, called schedules. These schedules are based on the government’s perception of how high the potential for abuse, harm, and addiction is with each drug. Again, these schedules are not always based firmly on science or logic and can be surprising.
Drugs that are determined to be schedule one are those deemed to have the highest possible risks associated with them, with schedule five supposedly carrying the lowest risk levels.
Drug Schedule Examples
Below, you will find a list of the five schedules of illegal drugs in Tampa, along with examples and more information.
- Schedule one – The highest potential for abuse. These drugs also lack an accepted use in mainstream medicine. Examples: crack, meth, and heroin.
- Schedule two – Second-highest potential for abuse. These drugs often have medical uses and are sometimes prescribed to patients. Examples: OxyContin, methadone, and cocaine.
- Schedule three – Mid-grade potential for abuse. Examples: some codeine products, steroids, and ketamine.
- Schedule four – The second-lowest potential for abuse. Examples: Valium, Tramadol, and Xanax.
- Schedule five – The lowest potential for abuse. Examples: Motfen and Lyrica.
What Are Some Possible Defenses Against Possession With Intent to Sell Charges?
Luckily, in cases where someone has been charged for possession with intent to sell a drug, it is often the case that the attorney of the accused gets the charges downgraded to simple possession. This is due to the difficulty in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the person had the intent to sell the substance.
Another thing to consider is that it is difficult to give an overview of your specific defense in this article because any good criminal defense attorney should base their defense around the personal details belonging to the accused and their situation.
However, some common defenses which have been successfully employed by our law firm in the past would include:
- Law enforcement acting in a way that constituted deliberate entrapment of the defendant.
- Arguing the drug in the possession of the accused did not, in fact, belong to the accused.
- One or more flaws existed in the way that law enforcement identified the drug.
- Officers of the law obtained evidence essential to the prosecution in a way that was unlawful.
- The person accused of possession with intent to sell was a miss-identified suspect.
- The warrant used by the officers was invalid or non-existent, rendering any evidence procured through it inadmissible.
- The weight of the drug in the possession with intent to sell was incorrect.
As mentioned above, these are only examples of past successful defenses. If you choose our law firm, a strategy will not be chosen until we have discussed in full the details of your arrest and circumstances. This way, the best possible defense can be tailor-made from the details you have provided.
This is why we offer everyone accused of a drug crime in Florida a free consultation over the telephone. From this call, we can get a good idea of which avenue to pursue to build you the most solid defense possible and have the highest chance of minimizing the charges held against you.
How Do Constructive Possession Charges Work in Tampa?
One thing which can potentially mitigate the charges for possession of a drug in Florida is constructive possession laws.
Constructive possession basically means when drugs are not found in possession of the accused but instead in a potentially communal location, such as a motor vehicle.
In this situation, the prosecution must prove three separate things in order to successfully charge the defendant. They must prove:
- That the illegal drug found in the common area was, in fact, under the defendant’s control.
- Second, that the defendant was fully aware that the illegal drug was stashed in the location.
- Third, that the defendant was fully and entirely aware of the illegal status of the discovered drug.
This is good news for anyone facing possession with intent to sell charges that could be impacted by constructive possession laws. As the charges would be a criminal case, the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt lies with the government. Each of the things on the list above must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This represents just one of the many ways in which an attorney from our law firm may be able to work around the minimum mandatory sentencing rules to get your charges dismissed or at least downgraded.
A Good Attorney Will Fully Investigate Your Arrest
As an attorney belonging to any good law firm knows, one of the best ways of avoiding drug charges – even those as serious as possession with the intent to sell – is to conduct a detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accused’s arrest.
An attorney from The Law Place will not only investigate your arrest but also conduct a thorough investigation into the evidence the prosecution is planning to use against you. The investigation will include the quality of the evidence in the possession of law enforcement and how they obtained it.
Suppose the police officers handling your case were responsible for even a small flaw in the complex process of handling your arrest and evidence. In that case, this represents a potentially crucial avenue of defense for you.
If the police officers violated any of your constitutional rights, such as those afforded to you by the Fourth Amendment, then you could be in luck. In this case, your drug possession attorney can request a motion to have all of the evidence belonging to your possession with intent to sell case suppressed. If this is successful, none of this evidence will be valid in any court. As such, it is extremely unlikely that any charges held against you will stick.
What Benefits Are There to Legal Representation in Tampa?
When you have been charged with possession of an illicit drug with intent to sell, it can seem like the whole world is against you. The harshness and complexity of Florida drug law may seem stacked against you, and it may be hard to retain hope.
However, this is where a drug possession attorney with a wealth of skill, confidence, and compassion can make a world of difference.
Firstly, they will talk you through exactly what your legal options are and offer non-judgmental listening and reassurance. Once you have a game plan, things will begin to look less overwhelming.
Before the intricacies of the case even begin, simply having your own representation in court shows the judge and jury that you are taking your case seriously. This impact on perception can greatly assist your outcome.
With the right amount of research and investigation, a good lawyer will be able to identify avenues to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. However, you may find yourself wondering how you will know if your drug possession attorney is up to the task.
Selecting Your Tampa Drug Possession Attorney
There are a huge amount of law firms across Florida, and Tampa is no different. This can make choosing the right representation for you overwhelming.
For this reason, we have put together this list of things The Law Place believes is integral to high-quality representation:
- High level of trust – This is potentially the most important characteristic of a high-quality lawyer or attorney. As your specific defense should be tailored to the events that transpired around your arrest, it is incredibly important that you feel comfortable divulging this information in its entirety. If you do not trust your lawyer and feel judged or looked down upon, this can impact the information you share, which can go on to impact your case.
- Relevant experience – It is no use hiring an attorney who specializes in traffic crimes to represent you in a drug possession case. As such, it is important to check whether your representation has the appropriate amount of experience on drug possession with intent to sell cases. You should also ask how many similar cases they have litigated and how many they have personally won in the past.
- Negotiation – This is a key skill for a drug possession attorney. Due to the mandatory minimum sentencing laws, it is important that your attorney is equipped and comfortable with doing everything in their power to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed before you face a mandatory minimum sentence. Asking about your attorney’s plea bargain record can be a good indicator of how shrewd their negotiation skills are.
- References from previous clients – Always ask for references or testimonials from an attorney’s previous clients! If they are unwilling to share them, do not use this lawyer as they are clearly hiding something, be it bad results or hidden costs. Make good use of the internet, as it makes finding reviews from real ex-clients incredibly easy.
We are confident that the team of attorneys employed by The Law Place fits all of these criteria. But don’t take our word for it. Get in touch with a member of our team for a free consultation today and see for yourself.
What Can The Law Place in Tampa Offer You?
The Law Place in Tampa can bring a wealth of positives to the table in a possession of drugs with intent to sell case.
Our law firm can offer you:
- Complete transparency in terms of fees following your first consultation. We pride ourselves on having no hidden fees or complications.
- A team of lawyers which operates each case together. While you will have a primary attorney, the entire team will feed their hard-won knowledge and wisdom into every case to ensure you get the most well-rounded representation possible.
- A defense tailor-made to the events you experienced. This also includes considerations of the audience in the courtroom.
- A team with 75 years of combined experience defending people from drug-related allegations just like yours.
- A large number of lawyers on our team who possess an AVVO rating of 10.0. This is the highest rating the site allows and is based on wide-ranging criteria, such as associations, client reviews, trial skills, practice length, and awards.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been on the receiving end of accusations of possessing a drug with the intent to sell, it is important that you act fast and with as little hesitation as possible. Each day that passes will make evidence and investigations more difficult and leave you with less time to build the most solid defensive case possible. A drug possession charge is taken incredibly seriously in Florida, and it is important to get out in front of it as soon as possible.
The Law Place in Tampa is here for your criminal defense needs. Our team of lawyers has been handpicked for their skill, compassion, and experience, and they are ready to represent you. Make use of the 75 years of combined experience we have accumulated defending those in Tampa who are facing unfairly harsh sentences for their involvement with a drug.
If you would like more information, please get in touch with a staff member at our office for a free telephone consultation. Not only are our telephone lines always open, but the consultation itself will also be on a no-obligation basis and entirely confidential. There has never been a better time to take control of your narrative than now.
For more information and to receive free, impartial legal advice relating to your case, please call (941) 444-4444 as soon as possible.