As an experienced drug crime lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I've seen firsthand the devastating effects of drug-related offenses in our state. Unfortunately, the Sunshine State's position on the map has made it a hot spot for drug trafficking from Mexico, Colombia, and other Central and South American countries. This influx of illicit narcotics has resulted in an overwhelming surge of arrests and convictions related to drugs each year.
I often receive many questions from those charged with drug crimes, ranging from the severity of the penalties they may face to the type of defense available. In this blog, I share some of the most frequently asked questions our office receives.
If you face drug charges, call the Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A. at (954) 522-9997 to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your legal options with an experienced drug crime lawyer. We will fight for your rights!
In Florida, drug crimes refer to offenses that involve the possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or controlled substances. These crimes are governed by both state and federal law and can carry serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Some of the most common drug crimes in Florida include:
There is a long list of Schedule I through Schedule V drugs defined as controlled substances under Florida law. Possessing a controlled substance can result in severe penalties if caught possessing it without a valid prescription.
These drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, pills such as Xanax and Oxycodone, designer drugs such as K2 and Spice, ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, Tylenol with codeine, Valium, Tramadol, Xanax, Ativan, Ambien, Darvon, and Darvocet.
To access a list of all the controlled substances and their schedule classification, go here to read the statute’s text.
In Florida, possession of a controlled substance refers to the illegal possession of drugs or other substances that are regulated by state and federal law.
The possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession means that you have direct physical control over the drug, while constructive possession means you have knowledge of the drug's presence and access to it.
In either case, if you are found with a controlled substance in your possession, you will face criminal charges.
If the police find drugs in your house, you may face serious legal consequences, including charges of possession of a controlled substance. The specific outcome of the situation will depend on various factors, including the type and amount of drugs found, the circumstances of the discovery, and the state and federal laws applicable to your case.
If you are charged with a drug crime, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced drug crime attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you understand your rights and the criminal justice process and represent you in court to obtain the best outcome for your case.
Yes, there is a difference between possession and trafficking of a controlled substance in Florida. Possession refers to having a controlled substance in your possession for personal use, while trafficking refers to the sale, transportation, or importation of a controlled substance. Trafficking carries much more severe penalties than possession.
The penalties for a drug crime conviction in Florida are severe, and a conviction can result in long-term consequences. The specific penalties for a drug crime will depend on various factors, including the type and amount of drug involved, your criminal history, and the specific circumstances of your case.
Though not exhaustive, here is a table summarizing the different drug crimes and the corresponding penalties in Florida:
|Drug Crime and Charge||Penalties|
|Possession of a Controlled Substance
(1st-degree felony) possession of more than 10 grams of any Schedule I drug
|Up to 30 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000|
|(2nd- or 3rd-degree felony) intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance (charge depends on the type of controlled substance involved)||Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000|
|(3rd-degree felony) possession of more than 10 grams of any other controlled dangerous substance||Up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000|
|(1st-degree misdemeanor) possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana||Up to 1 year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine|
|(3rd-degree felony) possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana||Up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000|
|Up to 30 years in prison, and/or fines up to $500,000
The specific penalties will depend on the type and amount of substance involved
|Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (Misdemeanor)||Up to 6 months in prison for a first offense and fines up to $1,000 – repeat offenders will face longer prison times and fines
License suspension: up to 1 year
Community Service: up to 50 hours of community service
Ignition Interlock Device installation required on your car for up to one year after conviction
|Drug Paraphernalia Possession
|Up to 1 year in prison and fines up to $1,000|
If you are facing drug charges, it is critcal to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your rights, the charges against you, and the best possible defense strategy for your case.
You have the right to fight a drug charge in Florida. An experienced drug crime attorney can help you build a defense strategy and represent you in court. There are several potential defenses that can be raised in a drug crime case, including illegal search and seizure, entrapment, and lack of knowledge of the presence of the drug.
Yes, there are alternatives to jail time for drug crimes in Florida. These alternatives may include drug court (a treatment-based program for non-violent drug offenders), or probation, which would allow you to serve your sentence outside of jail while under supervision.
Yes, being convicted of a drug crime can affect your ability to get housing and employment. Landlords and employers often perform background checks and may refuse to rent to or hire you if you have a criminal record.
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed, sold, transported, or imported a controlled substance. Evidence that may be used to convict you of a drug crime in Florida may include drugs found in your possession, witness testimony, and law enforcement reports.
Sentencing for drug offenses in Florida depends on the specific facts of your case, including the type and amount of drug involved and whether you have a prior criminal record. In some cases, a judge may impose a sentence within the prescribed range, while mandatory minimum sentences may apply in other cases.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, hiring a drug crime lawyer is critical to protect your rights and obtain the best outcome for your case. An experienced drug crime attorney can:
By hiring an experienced drug crime attorney, you increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case and avoiding the severe consequences of a drug crime conviction, such as imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record.
Are you facing a drug charge? Call drug crime attorney David Williams for personalized service and the best possible defense tailored to your unique needs. At the Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., we care about our clients and know that good people can make bad mistakes.
Mr. Williams has been practicing criminal defense in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and other counties throughout Florida for over 25 years. Let him help you get your life back on track. Call us today at (954) 522-9997, or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney. We will fight for your rights!
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The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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