Florida Possession Defense Attorney
Let Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers HelpWere you found in possession of a controlled substance? While being charged with possession of a controlled substance isn’t as serious a charge as manufacturing or distributing it, it can still lead to severe punishment. Possession of a majority of controlled substances could lead to a felony charge. Make sure you have an excellent criminal defense attorney on your side. There can be a huge difference between possession and possession with intent to sell. If you’re facing this charge, you need the help of an experienced lawyer.
The attorneys at Musca Law have more than 150 years of combined criminal defense experience, and we have capably served clients throughout the state of Florida. Our philosophy allows us to provide an aggressive defense with attention to detail, focus on the strength of your case, and exploitation of the prosecution’s case. We also provide you with an excellent level of service that includes regularly providing you with information concerning the status of your case.
Possession vs. Possession with Intent to SellPossession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it will bring harsher charges. They are almost exactly the same in terms of the crime, except the prosecution must prove you intended to sell or distribute the drugs. Usually, the intent to distribute the controlled substance is assumed when you possess an amount too large to be for personal use only. However, if there are other indications that selling is intended, such as packaging materials, large quantities of cash, and customer communication, the prosecution will have a stronger case for pushing an intent to sell charge.
Elements of a Drug Possession ChargeThe court will look at three different facets of the crime, including:
- Illegal nature of the controlled substance
- Your knowledge of the drug
- Your control of the drug
It’s the prosecution’s job to present evidence that the substance you’re accused of possessing is actually a controlled substance as defined by Florida law. This determination may need scientific analysis at a crime lab. They will also show you knew or should have known about the illegal nature of the drug and its presence. Last, they must prove you had control over the location and presence of the substance.
Types of ChargesDepending on how much of a controlled substance you were found with, the charge might be a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, with marijuana possession, having up to 20 grams of marijuana would be considered a 1st-degree misdemeanor. This could get you up to 1 year in jail in addition to court costs. Defendants with at least 4 prior convictions could be sentenced to 1 year in jail, mandatory treatment, or home detention for up to 1 year.
Having more than 20 grams of marijuana, up to 28 grams of cocaine, up to 10 grams of ecstasy or MDMA, up to 1 gram of LSD, or up to 4 grams of heroin or opiate is a 3rd-degree felony. If you are charged with this, you could face up to 5 years in prison.
The most severe penalties come with possessing a large amount of controlled substance. More than 25 pounds of marijuana, 28 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of ecstasy or MDMA, 1 gram of LSD, or 4 grams of heroin or opiate can lead to a 1st-degree felony, which could get you up to 30 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Additionally, there are mandatory minimum sentences for this level of offense, though they depend on the type of drug and the amount possessed.