Florida is a hub of the illegal drug trade, and invests enormous resources into shutting it down. The state prosecutes drug crimes aggressively, and the law imposes mandatory minimum sentences in many cases.
However, prosecutors can get overzealous in going after the average person who was caught with something they are not supposed to have. Call an Avalon Park drug lawyer immediately if you were arrested on drug charges. Working with an experienced defense attorney could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Florida has a complex scheme for classifying drug crimes, and the state criminalizes the possession, manufacture, distribution, and trafficking of literally hundreds of substances. Most of these crimes are felonies but an Avalon Park drug defense attorney could push for the lowest possible penalties in court.
Possession of small amounts of illegal substances for personal use could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the substance involved. For example, possessing fewer than 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a possible sentence of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) makes possessing any amount of methamphetamine without a valid prescription a third-degree felony, which could lead to a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. Less than 10 grams of heroin is up to 5 years in prison, which can go up to 30 years for more than 10 grams.
The penalties for possession of cocaine start at up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for under 28 grams, but can go all the way up to 15-30 years and $250,000 for more than 400 grams. Fentanyl, a drug that is becoming increasingly common, can produce penalties beginning at 5 years and $5,000 for just 4 grams.
In addition to the drugs listed above, The Umansky Law Firm also takes drug defense cases involving amphetamines, codeine, LSD, morphine, oxy, Xanax, and much more.
A person could face possession charges even if the drugs are not on their person, in their clothes, backpack, purse, or car. If the drugs are somewhere the person can access, like a gym locker or an apartment, they could face possession charges.
A prosecutor could charge someone who possesses a relatively small amount of a drug with possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the drug. This offense is a second- or third-degree felony, depending on the drug.
A charge of selling a controlled substance could be a first- or second-degree felony, depending on the drug involved and the circumstances of the sale. Selling to someone under 18 or in the vicinity of school could lead to more significant charges and harsher penalties. These charges often arise from sting operations.
Illegally transporting a controlled substance into Florida is drug trafficking. However, just possessing threshold quantities of certain controlled substances is also considered trafficking according to the law. Drug trafficking crimes are first-degree felonies that carry mandatory minimum sentences ranging from three years to life in prison. The law also imposes fines that vary depending on the type and quantity of the drug. Fentanyl, for example, can come with a minimum penalty of $500,000 and 25 years in prison for more than 28 grams.
The circumstances of an arrest dictate an Avalon Park attorney’s drug defense strategy. Lines of defense regarding police conduct and procedures are worth investigating in every drug case.
Drug charges often result from police traffic stops. The police must have a reasonable suspicion a crime is being or has been committed to stop a vehicle and must have probable cause to search. If the police evidence of reasonable suspicion and probable cause is inadequate to support their actions, a judge might dismiss charges or suppress evidence.
Law enforcement officials often run undercover sting operations to catch suspected drug dealers and traffickers. A legal professional could scrutinize any evidence generated through these means to ensure law enforcement followed all procedural and legal requirements.
The severity of drug charges and an offender’s potential sentence depend on the type of the drug and the quantity. It is critical to ensure the police handled the drugs appropriately to prevent anyone from adding another substance or increasing the weight of the seized drugs.
If the police sent a sample of the drug to a lab for identification, a defense attorney could question the lab’s procedures and error rate. The method of weighing the drugs could also be an issue in some cases.
You could end up in jail if convicted of even a minor drug crime. Most drug crimes in the state are felonies that could lead to long prison sentences and huge fines, so do not take a chance with your future. Trust your defense to an Avalon Park drug lawyer. Call The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys as soon as you get arrested.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys