Being charged with a drug offense can have serious consequences, especially in Florida where the penalties for drug crimes are severe. If you are facing drug charges in Orlando or surrounding areas of our state, it’s important that you retain the counsel of a Florida drug lawyer as soon as possible.
At Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., our Florida drug lawyer is here to provide you with the legal counsel that you deserve and are entitled to. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.
Drug Crimes in Florida
In Florida, drug crimes are divided into three main categories: possession, manufacture, and distribution/sale of a controlled substance. Consider the definitions of each of the following crimes, listed below--
- Possession. Possession can be hard to define in a drug case, but typically refers to having a controlled substance within one’s control, not necessarily on one’s person. In order to convict someone on a possession charge, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant had knowledge of the drug and was in control over the location and presence of the controlled substance.
- Manufacture. As defined in the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act, manufacture refers to the “preparation, deriving, compounding, propagation, processing, producing, or fabrication” of any drug. Keep in mind that manufacturing a controlled substance does not only refer to the pursuit of operations to manufacture substances like methamphetamines and cocaine, but also the illegal growth of marijuana plants.
- Distribution/sale. Finally, the law in Florida prohibits the sale or distribution of any controlled substances. The crime of possession with intent to sell may be pursued by the prosecution if the defendant is found to be in possession of a large amount of a controlled substance.
How Drugs Are Classified
Drugs in Florida are classified based on schedules, with Schedule I drugs being the most severe and Schedule V drugs being the most innocuous. How a drug crime is penalized depends on the drug crime (possession, manufacture, distribution), the schedule of the drug involved, and the amount of the drug involved.
Not surprisingly, methamphetamines are a schedule I drug. Cocaine, on the other hand, is a Schedule II drug. What can be most shocking to many people, however, is that cannabis is also classified as a Schedule I drug. (Marijuana is regulated in Florida separately than are other drugs).
Potential Penalties for a Drug Crime Conviction in Orlando
As stated above, how a drug crime will be penalized depends on the type and the amount of the drug involved, as well as other specific factors, including the type of drug crime, who was involved (was the drug sold to a minor?), where the drug crime happened (did the sale of a controlled substance occur near a school), and whether or not the defendant has a criminal history.
Penalties can vary greatly from misdemeanor charges to felony charges that result in huge fines and long prison sentences. In addition to spending time in jail and/or paying a large fine, those who are convicted of a drug charge will also have to face the reality of having a drug charge arrest and conviction on their permanent record. This can be extremely limiting, leading to lost opportunities for decades.
Note that in Florida, the possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense (if 20 grams or less are involved), penalized by a fine of up to $1,000. The state does have a medical marijuana law enacted, which could serve as a defense if you are facing charges. Be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your options and rights.
Services Our Florida Drug Lawyer Provides
If you are facing drug charges in Orlando, the first thing our lawyer wants you to know is that we believe you deserve a fair opportunity to defend yourself, and we believe in the legal concept of innocent until proven guilty.
We’ll make sure that you receive the representation that you’re entitled to and that the prosecution doesn’t handle your case in an unfair, unethical, or unconstitutional way. When you hire our law firm, we will serve you by:
- Providing you with immediate advice and guidance. The actions that you take in the hours following an arrest could have a significant outcome on your case. We’ll provide you with the advice and counsel you need quickly, including your rights regarding talking to police, how you should handle an arraignment hearing, and more.
- Representing you when speaking with police, prosecutors, and in before the court. Another invaluable service that we will provide to you as a person who is facing drug charges is that of representing you in all interactions with the police, prosecutors, and in court. We don’t want you to feel like you are alone throughout the process.
- Proving your innocence, negotiating with the prosecution, and protecting your best interests. It is the job of our drug lawyer to discuss your options with you and advise you regarding which option is most advisable. This might mean proving your innocence, which would include gathering evidence to support your case and disprove allegations made by the prosecution; negotiating with the prosecution to reach a plea bargain if you want to plead guilty; and overall protecting your best interests.
Contact Our Florida Drug Lawyer Today to Learn More About How We Can Help You
Understanding your rights if you are facing drug charges isn’t always obvious. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Orlando, one of the most important rights of which you should be aware it is your right to work with a Florida drug lawyer.
When you call our law office, we will immediately start working on your case. The earlier you call us, the more opportunity we will have to fight for your rights and interests. Please reach our Florida drug lawyer today by calling our office directly or sending us a message. We are able to schedule consultations at your location.