In the state of Florida, law enforcement prioritizes drug arrests and prosecutors often take an aggressive stance on drug-related crimes.
Call a Winter Garden drug possession lawyer immediately if you were arrested on this charge. Even a quantity of drugs that is suitable only for personal use could lead to severe punishment if you do not have a seasoned drug defense attorney working with you.
The crime of drug possession in Winter Garden means a person had drugs on their person, such as in a pocket, backpack, or handbag. This is known as actual possession. A person could face drug possession charges if the police found drugs in a property the accused had control over, such as their apartment, car, or garage. Access to and control over drugs is considered constructive possession, even if the drugs are not on the person.
Drug possession is usually the charge if the accused had a relatively small quantity of illegal drugs. The amount that distinguishes misdemeanor from felony possession depends on the type of drug, the amount the accused allegedly had in their possession, and the accused’s criminal record. Florida Statute § 893.13 (6) describes the amounts of various substances that could lead to a possession charge.
Possessing less than 20 grams of cannabis or schedule-V substances like Tylenol with Codeine, Robitussin, Lomotil, and Lyrica without a valid prescription is a first-degree misdemeanor. Conviction could lead to up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Possession of fewer than four grams of heroin, less than 28 grams of cocaine, and less than 14 grams of methamphetamine could lead to third-degree felony drug possession charges.
In addition, possessing a schedule-IV controlled substance or anabolic steroid without a lawful prescription is a third-degree felony. Schedule IV controlled substances include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Halcion, and Flurazepam.
Second-degree felonies carry sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Possessing more than 14 grams of methamphetamine or the components for making it or other designer drugs such as ecstasy often leads to a second-degree felony charge.
A first-degree felony could be the charge if someone allegedly possesses large quantities of Schedule I or II drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, or morphine. Typically, a person would face a drug trafficking charge in addition to possession. A conviction could lead to up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Getting a conviction on a criminal charge requires a prosecutor to prove each element of the crime. A drug possession charge cannot stick unless the prosecutor can prove that an accused:
Police tactics often form the basis of a drug possession defense. Law enforcement officers do not always follow proper procedures when investigating drug crimes. A Winter Garden attorney could examine whether the officers had probable cause to stop or search a person for drug possession. If the police procedures were not proper, they could file a motion to suppress the evidence the police discovered due to their improper conduct.
Prosecutors often bring drug possession charges against people who possessed the substances for their personal use. If an accused is addicted to illegal substances, drug court could be a beneficial alternative to the criminal court system.
Drug court offers treatment and services combined with close supervision. Participants must take frequent drug tests and appear regularly in court. Orange County offers three drug courts: diversionary drug court, probationary drug court, and post-plea drug court.
Someone facing drug possession charges who lacks a significant criminal history could be eligible for diversionary drug court, which offers dismissal of drug charges upon program completion. If an accused is ineligible for the diversion program, a Winter Garden drug possession attorney could help them enroll in one of the other drug court programs. Completing the probationary or post-plea drug court program could reduce the consequences of a charge.
A criminal conviction could change your life forever. With your future at stake, selecting an experienced defense attorney is critical.
A Winter Garden drug possession lawyer has the knowledge and skill to achieve the best result the evidence allows. Reach out to Umansky Law get a capable attorney fighting for you.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys