Florida takes an aggressive stance on most drug-related crimes, including possession. Illegal street drugs don’t have to be involved: you can be charged even if you’re found carrying medicinal drugs without having a valid prescription.
At Sulte Law Firm, we understand that a conviction for drug possession can have long-term effects, including diminished employment opportunities, denial of a college education, and even immigration consequences if you are a newcomer to the United States. We are prepared to aggressively defend you against drug possession charges so that you have a chance to move past a false allegation or a mistake.
Florida Statute Section 893.03 divides controlled dangerous substances into five schedules:
- Schedule I: includes heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. They have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
- Schedule II: includes morphine and opium. They have an accepted medical use under restricted conditions and can create severe dependency problems.
- Schedule III: includes anabolic steroids. They have an accepted medical use but can cause intense psychological dependence.
- Schedule IV: includes diazepam and alprazolam and causes a degree of physical and psychological dependence.
- Schedule V: includes medicine containing limited amounts of specified narcotic drugs.
Drug Possession Penalties in Florida
The penalties for drug possession in Florida will depend on the amount of drugs allegedly found in your possession.
- More than 10 grams of any Schedule I drug, such as heroin or LSD, is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Over 10 grams of any other controlled dangerous substance is a third-degree felony that can send you to prison for up to five years and subject you to a $5,000 fine.
- Up to 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Possession of over 20 grams is a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Under Florida law, there are two ways to possess a controlled substance:
- Actual possession: You have the controlled substance on you, such as in your coat pocket or purse.
- Constructive possession: The drugs are not in your immediate possession, but you still have control over them. For example, you have cocaine stashed under the seat of your car or in a night table drawer at home.
Reach Out to a Tampa Drug Possession Lawyer Now
When you’ve been charged with drug possession, it is imperative that you get help from a Tampa criminal defense lawyer who has the experience, knowledge, and resources to build a solid and compelling defense. For advice and representation that you can trust, reach out to Sulte Law Firm at (813) 223-4343.
Is Marijuana Illegal in Florida?
Medical marijuana use is permitted in some instances when recommended by a licensed medical doctor, but recreational sales, possession, and use continue to be illegal in Florida. Possession of up to 20 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
Any charges should be faced after retaining a Tampa drug charge lawyer. Even a single joint can leave you with a criminal record that places significant limitations on your future, so don’t answer questions until you’ve had a chance to hire an attorney.
What is Possession With Intent to Sell?
Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell is an elevated charge with more severe penalties if you are convicted. The punishment depends on the type and amount of controlled substance the police claim to have taken off of you. For example, if the substance is marijuana, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, while cocaine will result in a second-degree felony charge. If prescription drugs are involved, you could be charged with either one, depending on the medications.
Always call a Tampa drug charge lawyer when you’re arrested for possession with intent to sell. It’s a charge that can send you to prison for five years or more, so don’t take chances with your future.
How Can a Tampa Drug Possession Lawyer Help?
Our experienced Tampa drug possession attorney will carefully examine the evidence against you and ensure that you’re protected from self-incrimination and other tactics that the police and prosecutors may use to strengthen your case.
Attorney Ryan Sulte will identify whether your rights were violated during the circumstances leading up to your arrest. Perhaps the police stopped you illegally or lacked the authority to search your property. If so, he will fight to get the charges dismissed. At all stages of your case, he will look for opportunities to bring about results that are in your favor.