While most everyone is likely aware that certain drugs are illegal, many people continue to defy the law by using, selling or trafficking controlled substances or prescription medications. If you are accused of drug possession, distribution, manufacturing or trafficking, it may be difficult to develop a defense for trial on your own. Repeat offenders also often face harsher penalties.
Florida laws state that drug possession is typically a third-degree felony if the defendant obtained the controlled substance for personal use. If an individual possesses less than 20 grams of marijuana, then the state allows a first-degree misdemeanor charge.
A charge of intent to distribute requires proof that the defendant in fact intended to sell or distribute the drugs. Marijuana possession with intent to sell could be a third-degree felony charge, while the same circumstances with cocaine may be considered second-degree. Prescription drugs could provoke simple misdemeanor charges if the defendant was entrapped by police or experienced an unlawful search and seizure.
Florida state laws set a range of punishments based on different considerations. Second-degree misdemeanors may lead to 60 days in prison, while first-degree misdemeanors could receive up to one year. A third-degree felony may result in a five-year jail sentence and a $5,000 fine, whereas a second-degree felony may result in 15 years and up to a $10,000 fine.
This post is intended for general information only, and should not be used as legal advice. If you are accused of possession of controlled substances, or are charged with more significant distribution, manufacturing or trafficking drug offenses, you can face very serious consequences. A legal professional may be able to help you to protect your legal rights, and possibly help reduce the charges against you.