In Florida, drug possession and related charges are taken very seriously. If you are arrested for drug possession or other drug charges it is important to understand the possible penalties that you are facing if found guilty. Conviction of a crime can cause a tarnished reputation and can create difficulties both at work and at home. It is extremely important to aggressively defend against drug charges. It is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. Your attorney will learn as much as possible about what happened to cause your arrest and will immediately begin to develop a defense.

Florida Drug Charges

There are several charges that you may face depending on type of drugs, the amount of drugs, and whether you have paraphernalia.

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Drug paraphernalia Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Sell
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Manufacturing
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Prescription Drugs Charges

Possession of a small amount of drugs is considered for your personal use while a larger quantity of drugs will bring harsher charges and penalties. In general, possession of a small amount of drugs carries less severe penalties than if you possess large quantities or are found to be selling drugs. Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Possession Charges

In Florida, possession of a small amount of drugs, such as marijuana, is considered for personal use. If you are found to possess a larger quantity of drugs or equipment to make or sell drugs, different penalties apply.  Personal possession is considered less than 20 grams of marijuana while possession of more than 20 grams is a felony. Minor possession charges are typically considered misdemeanors while possession of large quantities of drugs may be trafficking and therefore may be felonies. The penalties for a misdemeanor are less severe than penalties for a felony. There are other circumstances of your drug arrest that can turn it into a felony, such as if you are found with drugs within a close proximity to a school.

  • Misdemeanor, Second Degree  – Jail sentence up to 60 days, fine up to $500.
  • Misdemeanor, First Degree – Jail sentence up to one year, fines up to $1,000.
  • Felony, Third Degree – Prison sentence up to five years, fines not to exceed $5,000.
  • Felony, Second Degree – Prison sentence up to 15 years, fines up to $10,000.
  • Felony First Degree – Prison sentence up to 30 years, fines up to $10,000.
  • Life Felony – Up to 30 years in prison, up to $15,000 fines.

Help from an Experienced Attorney

In many cases the charges against you may be inflated. An experienced attorney will work to determine that the charges are correct and may be able to reduce the charges. Your attorney will help you fight for your rights and will review your case to prepare the best possible defense. If this is your first drug arrest you may be unaware of what to expect throughout the process. Drug charges must be taken seriously and defended vigorously to protect against harsh penalties if convicted.