The drug possession laws in Orlando provide a wide variety of potential penalties for apparent violations. The exact severity of the charge depends both upon the amount of the illegal substance and the nature of that substance. As a result, merely possessing an illegal drug can result in penalties that range from mere misdemeanors to some of the most serious felonies available under Florida law.
If you are facing charges related to the supposed possession of illegal drugs, you need to approach the case from a position of strength. This should include hiring an Orlando drug possession lawyer to take the lead in your case. Our reliable drug defense attorneys are prepared to explain the state’s laws concerning illegal drugs, investigate the reason for the arrest, and fight to protect your rights in and out of court.
It is illegal to possess street drugs and substances that are only legal with a doctor’s prescription. However, state law separates offenses that allege the illegal possession of these substances using two differentiating factors.
The first is the identity of the substance. Florida Statute § 893.03 creates five schedules of drugs that classify each illegal substance. In general, drugs in Schedule I are more dangerous than those in Schedule II, and so on. As a result, charges alleging the illegal possession of a Schedule I drug, such as heroin or cocaine, can result in harsher penalties than those of a less serious nature. For example, FL Stat. § 893.13 (6)(a)(c) says that possessing more than ten grams of a Schedule I drug is a felony of the first degree.
Some of the drugs that people often get charged with possessing include:
The second factor that determines the severity of a drug possession charge is the amount of the substance. As mentioned above, having even a small amount of a Schedule I drug is a high-level felony. In contrast, having greater amounts of less virulent drugs may bring less severe penalties. An Orlando drug possession lawyer can provide more information about a person’s specific charge and what the resulting penalties may be.
As harsh as the state’s drug laws can be, they do not override a person’s Constitutional rights. This includes being free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
These core concepts form the basis for many defenses against drug possession charges. An Orlando drug possession lawyer could argue that a police officer’s search of a defendant’s car, home, or body was not appropriate under the law. If a court accepts this argument, it may dismiss the charges related to this search.
Other cases can dispute the overall concept of possession. Legally, a person “possesses” an item when they have it under their control. If an arrest occurred in a place with many people, such as at a house party, it may be possible to argue that a defendant either had no control over the drugs or was not aware of their presence. Every case revolves around its own specific circumstances and an attorney works to develop a defense that fits the unique facts of the charges.
Drug charges are serious matters. The possession of a certain type of drug can result in a conviction that comes with jail time and a suspension of a person’s driver’s license. Harsher drugs such as opiates or cocaine can result in felony charges that carry mandatory-minimum prison sentences.
It is essential to avoid these outcomes at all costs. An Orlando drug possession lawyer may be able to present a defense in court that weakens a prosecutor’s case, resulting in a lesser penalty or even an outright dismissal of all charges. Reach out to our team today to let us get to work protecting you.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys