Avalon Park Cocaine Lawyer

Despite its risks, cocaine remains a prevalent recreational drug, especially right here in Central Florida. People from all walks of life experiment with it, many without ever developing a drug abuse issue. Getting charged with a drug-related offense, such as possession or trafficking, can have a much greater impact on your life than the actual use of the drug. An Avalon Park cocaine lawyer helps you navigate those charges and push for leniency or innocence.

Cocaine Crimes in State Law

Cocaine was once a relatively common recreational drug and was even one of the ingredients in a popular cola beverage. In 1914, the federal government classified cocaine as a narcotic and criminalized its use and possession under most circumstances.

Florida Statutes § 893.13 covers drug crimes. The type of drug and how much is normal for personal use helps differentiate between possession and trafficking. Possession of less than four grams of cocaine supports a possession charge — not a trafficking charge. Possession of cocaine is a third-degree felony, and a potential sentence for that crime is a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.

Fla. Statutes § 893.135(1)(c)(1) covers trafficking, which requires 28 grams or more of cocaine. Trafficking is not simply buying or selling — it can be transporting, manufacturing, or delivering it as well. The law covers cocaine in any form — including crack — and any cocaine derivatives. As with other trafficking offenses, the more drugs involved, the more significant the punishment.

The state has mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking. For 28 to 200 grams, the mandatory minimum is a fine of up to $50,000 and three years in prison. The maximum prison sentence is 30 years. For 200 to 400 grams, the mandatory minimum is 7 years and a fine of up to $100,000. For 400 grams to 150 kilograms, the mandatory minimum is 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

When someone traffics more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, the potential penalty is life in prison without parole. Plus, trafficking is an enhancement to a murder charge — if a person is killed during a trafficking offense, the charge is capital murder. Because of the severe potential criminal penalties associated with any cocaine offenses, it is essential to consult an Avalon Park lawyer for help.

Civil Consequences

Often, possession of small amounts of cocaine does not lead to severe penalties. However, the civil penalties can be life-altering. Fla. Statutes § 322.055 provides that any person convicted of possession of cocaine is subject to having their driver’s license suspended for one year.

If the charge involves trafficking, it leads to mandatory suspension of someone’s professional license as well. These consequences often have a more severe impact on someone’s life than the actual criminal punishment, at least for a first-time offender.

Additional civil consequences of drug charges that are not explicitly stated in the law include potential job loss, custody implications, and damage to your reputation. An Avalon Park attorney with experience in cocaine-related charges can help you understand the civil consequences of any charges, as well, and identify the best ways to help you avoid these penalties.

Defenses to Cocaine Charges

From a legal standpoint, whether or not you actually committed a drug-related offense is less important than whether or not the state can prove the elements of the offense. A criminal defense attorney will carefully review the evidence against you in the case.

Generally, possession and trafficking charges involve a search and seizure to gather the evidence. The U.S. Constitution and case law provide strict limits on searches and seizures. If the police violated these rules, then any evidence seized as a result may be inadmissible.

As a result, an Avalon Park cocaine attorney will want to know detailed information about your arrest. If the police arrested you in a traffic stop, was the stop lawful? Did they have the right to search you, your vehicle, or your property? Did you consent to a search? When they arrested you, did they inform you of your Miranda rights?

Any failure by the police to comply with the Constitution’s requirements increases the chances of having charges dismissed or getting a not-guilty verdict at trial.

Consult a Cocaine Defense Attorney in Avalon Park

Getting charged with a cocaine-related offense is very serious, but the rules surrounding searches and seizures open up many opportunities for defendants. In addition, some offenders may qualify for deferred adjudication. Schedule a consultation with an Avalon Park cocaine lawyer from our law firm to find out more about how we could help.

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    Avalon Park Cocaine Lawyer