The sale of illegal substances is strictly prohibited in the State of Florida and is viewed as a serious crime. The law on drugs is enforced with the utmost severity, so if you have been arrested for the sale of drugs or trafficking large amounts of a controlled substance, then there’s a reasonable chance of you facing years in prison and receiving a mark on your criminal record.
With over seventy-five years of combined experience, our lawyers are capable of handling your case with confidence and are eager to build a high-quality defense for you. We pride ourselves on treating all of our clients with an exceptionally high standard of care. Contact us on (941) 444-4444 whenever best suits you. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Law on Drugs in Florida
You can find more information on the law on drugs in Florida Statute 893.13. This states that “a person may not sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance.”
Florida has strict rules and regulations against drug crimes. It is essential to understand that being charged with drug trafficking can undoubtedly result in you facing harsh sentences, fines, and repercussions on your future.
Florida Statute 893.135 contains information on drug abuse prevention and control. You can also find information on the manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and involvement in the transportation of a controlled substance included here.
Drug Schedules in Florida
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), established in 1970, classified illegal drugs under federal law by creating five different schedules that categorize controlled substances. After being found in possession of a drug, the law enforcement officers will identify which drug you had or were attempting to sell. They will then use the drug schedule system to determine the harmfulness of the drug and the punishment you should face.
This consists of the most harmful and addictive substances when abused. Being charged with intent to sell a Schedule One drug would lead you to a conviction of a first-degree felony, resulting in you facing some of the harshest punishments that the law has to offer. Schedule One drugs do not have approved medical uses. Examples of the drugs found within this schedule include:
- Methadone (meth)
- LSD (acid)
Schedule Two substances have some medicinal uses, and in some cases, can be prescribed by a doctor. Some Schedule Two drugs are:
A substantial amount of Schedule Three drugs are intended for medicinal use and are prescribed exclusively by a doctor. Schedule Three drugs consist of:
- Codine (less than 90 milligrams of dosage.)
Classified as low-dependence substances, these drugs are intended for pharmaceutical use and are considered by the state to contain some of the less harmful and addictive drugs. However, Schedule Four drugs are still known to be widely sold across Venice, FL. Some of these drugs are:
Containing some of the much least harmful and addictive substances according to law, being arrested for attempting to sell a Schedule Five drug can result in you facing charges of a misdemeanor. All other schedules would result in a felony charge. Schedule Five consists of drugs/medicine such as :
- Cough medicine
Penalties for Possession of Illegal Drugs
Depending on the type of scheduled drug found in possession and the amount seized from the suspect, the law will determine whether they will be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. A first-degree felony is the most severe conviction for drug crimes, while a misdemeanor is usually the least harsh charge.
- First or second-degree felony – Fines of $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 30 years for the possession of up to 10 grams of a Schedule One drug.
- Third-degree felony – Fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to 5 years for possession of 10 grams or more of a controlled substance.
- First-degree misdemeanor – Fines of up to $1,000 and a 1-year sentence for the possession of 20 grams of marijuana.
- Second or third-degree misdemeanor – Fines of up to $500.
Being charged with a felony or misdemeanor will leave you with a lifetime criminal record, which in the future will prevent you from applying to certain jobs as well as traveling to different countries or even to certain states within the U.S.
Possible Defenses for Drug Sales
If you have been caught red-handed by a federal officer selling illegal substances in Venice, FL., you may be feeling that there is no hope in terms of what lies ahead for you. You may feel as though all evidence points towards your guilt.
However, using our specialist skills in criminal law, our defense lawyers can use the law’s complexity to their advantage by finding ways around your case, resulting in much lighter consequences for you. Some potential defenses we could use in your case if you have been arrested for drug trafficking are:
- Your constitutional rights were violated – A federal officer wrongly conducted themselves when they arrested you.
- You’re innocent – A witness or policeman has misidentified the drug trafficking suspect, meaning you were wrongly accused. To prove your guilt for the possession or sale of a controlled substance, there has to be a reasonable amount of evidence.
- Entrapment – In some cases, you could have been set up by the law.
- Unlawful search – There may have been no reason for you to have been searched or seized by the police.
Which State in America Has the Harshest Illegal Drug Laws?
Florida is recognized for upholding some of the harshest laws that legislation has to offer regarding drug law, no matter whether you’re for the sale, possession, or manufacture of drugs. However, compared to certain states within the U.S., luckily, the law on drugs in Florida is not the strictest.
South Dakota is well known for upholding the strictest laws and reprimands on drug crime known to the U.S. South Dakota takes the ingestion of drugs very seriously, as well as the possession or sale, which means that if you are caught with illegal substances in your system, then there’s a chance you will face criminal charges no different from those convicted of intent to sell or possession charges.
Whilst 10 other states within the U.S. carry strict laws on the ingestion of illegal substances, it is only in the state of South Dakota that you may be charged with a felony for ingestion of a drug, unlike Florida.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Facing drug possession in Florida can be extremely daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with your rights and options. You need the proper legal representation from a highly rated, well-respected law firm. Our attorneys are here to take the time to carefully look through your drug trafficking case, being sure not to miss anything that could be vital to your trial.
Our law team is ready to put to work our skill and expertise by taking care of all the relevant paperwork, so you don’t have to. We pride ourselves on building up excellent attorney-client relationships; that way, you will find it easier to put your faith in our attorneys and build a level of trust with us. Helping us to understand all the finer details of your case will assist you in the long run.
Our criminal defense lawyers are also highly experienced in coming to reasonable agreements between defendants and prosecutors by using plea bargains. Plea bargains consist of the defendant pleading guilty to the drug charges in order to come to a negotiation with the prosecutor to drop one or more of the charges, which will lighten the severity of your case’s consequences.
Contact Us Today
If you have been arrested for drug possession with intent to sell or face any other drug charges, you may be feeling a mixture of emotions. You may be concerned about the effects your conviction may have on your future and your family. Our team is willing to put your mind at rest and answer any questions or queries about our processes you might have. We’re here to help you decide the next steps you should take to have the best chance at avoiding jail.
If you want to avoid facing first-degree felonies and years in prison, please do not hesitate to reach out to The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444. You will receive a free consultation upon calling us, and together, we can determine the next steps you should take. Phone lines are open 24/7.