3 Types Of Drug Charges In Florida
Florida has the reputation for being tough on crime, and the laws covering controlled substances are certainly proof. The starting off point for understanding the charges is that these cases are based upon the type and amount of the drug, as well as what you were doing with it. Under the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, there are numerous offenses that constitute a violation of the law. The statute also lists a plethora of controlled substances that are illegal, closely mirroring the schedules and standards used in the US Controlled Substances Act.
Depending on the drugs and unlawful activities, you could face either felony or misdemeanor charges. The penalties can be harsh, but you are entitled to your day in court to fight the allegations. While you can trust a Florida criminal defense lawyer to handle essential tasks, some information about the three types of drug offenses is useful.
- Drug Possession: To get a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that you were intentionally in possession of a controlled substance that you knew was illegal. The government might meet this burden by showing that you were in actual possession, where the drugs were on your person or clothing. However, it is also possible to convict on the basis of constructive possession, which refers to the level of control you exercise over the drugs.
For lower amounts of drugs considered less addictive and harmful, you could face First Degree Misdemeanor charges. A conviction could mean up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Manufacturing: Any activities related to the production of controlled substances are also unlawful, including manufacturing, processing, and cultivation. On the low end of the criminal scale, an arrest for drug manufacturing charges is a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
However, higher amounts of more serious controlled substances could lead to Second Degree Felony charges. If convicted, you could be sentenced to a maximum term of 15 years’ incarceration and a $10,000 fine. Drug manufacturing activities conducted near a school elevate the level of crime, possibly leading to a First Degree Felony. A judge could order up to 30 years in prison for a conviction.
- Drug Trafficking: Florida uses the term distribution to refer to selling and trafficking in controlled substances. These felony offenses are punishable as mentioned above if you are convicted. Still, there are defenses related to the circumstances behind drug trafficking charges. In their efforts to get evidence, police may violate your civil rights against unlawful search and seizure.
Count Our Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys to Protect Your Rights
You can see that these cases are complicated, but there are defense strategies and options for obtaining a favorable outcome. To learn more about Florida drug laws, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. to set up a consultation at our offices in Jupiter. You can call 561-626-8880 or visit us online to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.