Florida Drug Possession Attorney
Simple possession of certain drugs or certain amounts of drugs is a felony crime in Florida. You can be found guilty of narcotics possession even if no drugs are found on your person, in your home or car, so long as you have access to and control over the drugs wherever they are located. Also, given certain types or amounts of drugs, the prosecutors may charge you with even greater crimes, alleging you intended to traffic in the substances. Possession charges can lead to lengthy prison sentences if convicted, but being arrested and charged with possession is not the end of the story. The police may have conducted unlawful search and seizure methods so that the evidence against you was unlawfully obtained. You may likewise have a number of defenses available to fight drug possession charges.
At FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, we’ll raise all applicable defenses and legal arguments to get you the best result possible in your particular situation, from pretrial intervention or probation to having charges reduced or dismissed, or winning a not guilty verdict at trial. Learn more about possession offenses below, and call our Florida drug possession attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation if you’ve been charged with possession in Orlando or central Florida.
To secure a conviction for possession of illegal drugs, the prosecution essentially has to prove three elements:
- The substance involved was a controlled substance under Florida law
- You knew that an illegal substance was present
- You had actual control over the substance, meaning you were in physical possession of the drugs or they were under your access and control
Several defenses are readily apparent regarding the elements above. For instance, the substance may not have been illegal, you may not have known about the substance, or you may not have been in actual or physical possession of it. Additionally, search & seizure issues and other drug crime defenses may be available as well.
Possession with Intent
If the prosecutors believe they can successfully prove a possession case against you, they may go even further and charge you with possession with intent. According to the statute on Florida drug offenses, it is illegal to sell, manufacture, or deliver controlled substances as well as to possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver those substances. This charge adds an additional element which makes the case harder for the prosecution to prove, but the stakes are much higher. Possession with intent is typically a second or third-degree felony, depending on the amount of drugs involved.
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of 20 grams or less (less than an ounce) of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties including up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Possession charges increase as the amount of pot involved increases, up to a first-degree felony of drug trafficking for being caught in possession of more than 25 pounds of marijuana.
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of methamphetamine itself is charged as a third-degree felony, with possible penalties of up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. However, possession of the chemical precursors needed to make methamphetamine is a second-degree felony, punishable by as many as 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. If a minor less than 16 years old is present, the offense may be charged as a first-degree felony and if convicted, this crime carries a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. The mandatory minimum sentence extends to 10 years if a child under 16 suffers great bodily harm in relation to the possession offense. Finally, being found in possession of half an ounce (14 grams) of meth is enough to be hit with a drug trafficking charge.
Call FL Drug Defense Group for Immediate Assistance after an Orlando Drug Possession Arrest
Possession offenses alone are serious enough, but they can quickly get out of hand when overzealous prosecutors pile on additional charges like possession with intent or drug trafficking. It is important to contact a skilled and experienced Florida drug possession attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or other controlled substances. In Orlando and central Florida, call FL Drug Defense Group at 407-775-9052 for a free case evaluation.