Drug-related crimes can carry severe penalties in Florida, especially if they involve a charge or conviction for selling, manufacturing, or trafficking in drugs; though possession may carry significant consequences as well Because drug-use is believed to be linked to a wide range of other crimes, the State of Florida prosecutes suspected drug crimes aggressively. Being arrested for a drug crime can be very intimidating and confusing, but it is important to remember that you still have the legal right to defend your innocence.
If you have been accused of a Florida drug crime, the Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys at Farah & Farah can examine the details of your arrest and build a strong defense based on strategies tailored to your particular situation. Call us today at 855-797-9899 to learn more about how we can help.
A “possession” charge typically means that you are suspected of having some amount of an illegal drug or controlled substance, but not enough to trigger Florida’s sale or trafficking laws (which carry much stricter penalties). Even a misdemeanor charge of possession, however, can come with life-altering consequences if you are convicted, including jail time, probation, fines, license suspension, and other costs.
People in possession of a certain drug often intend it solely for personal use, sometimes because they have trouble with addiction. Although treatment through Florida’s Drug Courts may be an option for people convicted of possession, it’s best to seek treatment on your own if you suspect you have a problem, instead of continuing to run the risk of arrest and a criminal record.
Drug sales, or “drug dealing,” involve not only possessing an illegal substance but transferring it to another person, often in exchange for money or other valuables. Drug sales convictions often come with higher penalties in Florida than simple possession convictions, including the possibility of facing one or more years in prison on a felony conviction.
What is Drug Trafficking in Florida?
Unlike Florida laws that prohibit drug sales or “dealing,” Florida’s drug “trafficking” laws are based not on making sales, but on the possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance – an amount higher than most people would keep for personal possession.
The full list of minimum amounts that trigger Florida’s trafficking laws appears in Florida Statute 893.135. Some well-known drugs and the minimum amounts for a trafficking conviction include:
- Marijuana: 25 pounds or 300 plants
- Cocaine: 28 grams
- Hydrocodone: 4 grams
- LSD: 1 gram
- MDMA (Ecstasy): 10 grams
The minimum prison sentence for a conviction of drug trafficking in most cases is three years. Even if you have no prior criminal history, you may face this mandatory minimum three years if you are convicted of trafficking in Florida.
Like selling or trafficking, manufacturing illegal substances is a crime in Florida and carries severe penalties. “Manufacturing” covers activities like growing marijuana or other illegal plants, “cutting” heroin or cocaine, or “cooking” methamphetamine.
Drug manufacturing charges are often based on the presence or possession of drug paraphernalia instead of, or in addition to, the presence or possession of the drug itself. A Florida drug crime defense attorney can provide crucial assistance in understanding your legal rights when it comes to evidence like drug paraphernalia that may be used against you in court.
What is Prescription Drug Fraud?
Possessing prescription medication is a crime in Florida if you do not have a valid prescription written in your name for the drug. This includes possessing or taking something prescribed for a family member or friend. Possessing certain amounts of some kinds of commonly-abused prescription drugs, like hydrocodone or oxycodone, may also trigger a trafficking charge.
In addition, Florida law prohibits individuals from getting prescription drugs by fraud. Fraud can take many forms, but like any criminal charge in Florida, each element of a prescription drug fraud case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Effective Representation to Safeguard Your Future
At Farah & Farah, we’re dedicated to fighting for the best possible result in each Florida drug crime case we handle. Our aggressive Florida drug charge defense attorneys will fight to protect your rights every step of the way and will ensure that you are not subjected to unjust prosecution or excessive penalties. For a free, confidential consultation, contact our office today at 855-797-9899.