Drug Crime Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Defend Your Drug Crime Case in Court with the Aid of Musca Law
At Musca Law, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients who were under the shadow of felony and misdemeanor drug charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
If you or someone you love has been charged with committing a drug-related crime, it is urgent that you get in touch with a Fort Lauderdale drug crime criminal defense attorney as soon as you are able to do so. This will help to make certain that your freedoms are defended and that every possible legal stratagem that can be applied to your case as far as disputing the charges against you or reducing possible sentences, is thoroughly investigated.
When a person who has been accused of a crime takes too long before they decide to hire a criminal defense attorney, they put themselves at risk of potentially giving law enforcement officers even more compromising information that is able to be used against them, or neglecting to conserve specific pieces of proof that would have otherwise worked in their favor.
Hiring an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney to fight your drug-related charges will have a profound impact on the results of your case.
Drug Crime Practice Areas
Our Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense attorneys have a comprehensive knowledge of drug crime-related practice areas that include but are not limited to:
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Possession
- Possession of Drugs With Intent to Distribute
- Marijuana Possession
- Drug Crime Conspiracies
- Drug Paraphernalia Possession
- Alternative Sentencing
- Grow Houses
- Medical Marijuana
We work diligently to defend our clients who have been accused of engagement with the sale, distribution, possession, or manufacture of:
- Crystal Meth/Methamphetamine
- Prescription Drugs (Valium, Xanax, Roxicodone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone)
- Drug Paraphernalia (i.e. baggies, pipes, scales, etc.)
Drug Crime Penalties in Florida
The potential punishments that the accused might have to deal with when they are charged with a drug crime is going to be heavily weighed on things such as the kind of drug concerned, the quantity of the drug concerned, if a sale was supposedly made, and where that transaction or deal took place. The existing criminal record of the defendant, if any, will also play a major part.
F.S. 893.13 outlines outlawed actions and the corresponding sentences as they relate to drug-based offenses. With the exception of the authorizations given in F.S. 499, no one is permitted to manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess with the intention of selling, producing or transporting a controlled substance.
Florida apportions all controlled substances into five different classifications known as schedules, determined by the drug’s level of dangerousness and capacity for abuse. These classifications can be found in F.S. 893.03.
- Schedule I (heroin, GHB, 173 others) – The greatest potential for abuse, no recognized medical use
- Schedule II (opium, morphine) – Huge potential for abuse with critical dependence; recognized medical use only with rigorous constraints
- Schedule III (anabolic steroids) – Some potential for abuse, although not as severe as the others; some recognized medical use, although it could lead to mild or moderate physical dependence
- Schedule IV (diazepam) – Mild abuse potential, recognized medical use, could lead to some dependence relative to other scheduled drugs.
- Schedule V – Very low potential for abuse, many recognized medical uses and includes those with extremely small doses of some narcotics
Crimes that are drug-related in nature are classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Even a simple charge for possession could end up being a felony, depending on the quantity of the drug that was discovered (see chart below). The state of Florida will not take into consideration whether or not the possession was actual - meaning on your physical person - or constructive - meaning it was not on your physical person but you knew where the drugs were and had control over them.
According to Florida law F.S. 893.13, anyone who breaks laws concerning drug trafficking with special regard to Schedule I controlled substances could be looking at either a first or second-degree felony, which can carry a sentence of as long as 15-to-30 years in state prison.
When a Schedule II controlled substance is involved, it will be either a second or third-degree felony, which is punishable by as long as 15 years in state prison. Generally, the charges that involve Schedule IV and Schedule V controlled substances are classified as misdemeanors.
Some aggravating circumstances that could negatively impact your sentencing involve things such as making a transaction within a certain distance to a church, school or public park, a previous conviction for any drug-related offense, or selling drugs for the financial benefit of a gang.
Florida Drug Crime Defenses
Although our attorneys do have a wide bank of litigation strategies, the exact kind of criminal defense that they decide to use will hinge upon a variety of factors that are particular to your case.
Our legal team will start by closely examining any claims on the part of law enforcement that ended in any search, seizure and/or arrest, and whether or not those claims are valid. For instance, if law enforcement did not have the reasonable suspicion needed to pull your vehicle over to begin with, then any evidence that they discovered should be deemed inadmissible in a court of law.
Likewise, if law enforcement illegally gave you a pat down, interviewed you, instated an investigative stop, obtained or completed a search warrant, then a breach of your personal constitutional liberties could be declared. If the breach is proven, then the whole case is most likely going to fall apart altogether or be substantially undermined.
We attempt to fight for the elimination of evidence via Motions to Suppress.
After that, our criminal defense attorneys will examine the veracity of the evidence being presented against you. For instance, if you are being charged with possession, but the prosecution is largely depending on assumptions prohibited by law as opposed to actual facts, a Motion to Dismiss might be filed on your behalf. In cases where the body of proof is clearly very inadequate, our attorneys will instead try to work out a voluntary dissolution with the prosecution, or even employ it as an advantage when it comes to protecting your best interests.
Although a lot of criminal cases end with a plea bargain, our criminal defense attorneys will not delay when it comes to preparing and taking a case to trial in the event that we realize that the deal on offer is not beneficial to you. By being prepared for the courtroom, we make certain that the state comes to the table prepared to give you a serious offer to lessen or completely drop the criminal charges against you.
As far as drug crimes are concerned, Florida is one of the toughest states when it comes to sentencing. A majority of the minimum mandatory drug law sentences are still in place, a remnant of the failing War on Drugs that continues to ineffectually battle a multitude of drug crimes while laying individual lives, families, and communities to waste.
The good news is that there is an increasing acknowledgment of the reality that these unrelenting sentences given to non-violent drug crimes are useless, in terms of both the expense and the rate of recidivism.
There is a growing, mutual agreement that the majority of drug crimes only victimize the offender, and if our legislators are genuinely earnest about decreasing the amount of drug-related crimes and reducing the overall access to drugs, then we have to give those who are addicted to drugs the guidance and the help that they so desperately need in order to get clean and stay clean, as well as the necessary social assistance to help them to lead healthy and fruitful lives.
It is for this reason that, wherever feasible inside the legal structure, that a growing number of cities and courts are adopting alternative sentencing options. A proficient and qualified Fort Lauderdale drug crimes criminal defense attorney will be able to utilize such opportunities to the greatest advantage of their clientele.
Alternative sentencing options for some drug crimes can include but are not limited to:
- Supervised probation
- Community service
- Substance abuse courses
- Drug court
- Drug counseling
- Drug treatment programs
In 2009, a Florida Senate Issue Brief remarked on how the state of Florida was encountering very high rates of recidivism along with violations of probation by drug-affiliated offenders who occasionally perpetrated low-level property crimes in order to fund their drug habit. The state lawmakers concluded that a years-long incarceration for a basic charge of possession for cocaine or marijuana, which results in a medium cost for each inmate which is more than $55 per day and $22,200 per year, didn’t really make a lot of sense even from an economic viewpoint, let alone from a moral or ethical viewpoint in terms of the immense loss of time behind bars that inmates experience from such harsh sentence terms.
Possession of Marijuana
The majority of people who are arrested for the possession of marijuana here in Florida are surprised to discover that what they felt was a fairly trivial offense could possibly have such a severe impact on their personal freedom, their finances, and their overall future endeavors. This is because, in spite of marijuana’s growing popularity and legality for at least medicinal purposes across approximately half the states in the U.S., Florida maintains its puritanical views of illegality on both the medicinal and recreational sides of the debate.
For instance, just a small misdemeanor charge could bring with it a penalty of as long as one year in county jail, and supervised probation is normally a given as well. This comes with invasive, arbitrary drug testing, treatment plans, and severe punishments for even the tiniest infraction of these rules.
Having a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side advocating for you will make a huge difference in the results of your case.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
The seriousness of the offense of the possession of marijuana relies mainly on exactly how much of the drug is found and under what circumstances.
In spite of local statutes that can decrease penalties, the basic framework schedule for the crime of possession of marijuana is as follows:
- 20 grams or less: Misdemeanor, 1-year incarceration, $1,000 fine
- Greater than 20 grams but less than 25 pounds: Felony, 5 years’ incarceration, $5,000 fine
- Greater than 25 pounds, less than 2,000 pounds: Felony, between 3 and 15 years’ incarceration, $25,000 fine
- Greater than 2,000 pounds, less than 10,000 pounds: Felony, between 7 and 10 years’ incarceration, $50,000 fine
- Greater than 10,000 pounds: Felony, between 15 and 30 years’ incarceration, $200,000 fine
- Less than 25 plants: Felony, five years’ incarceration, $5,000 fine
- Between 25 and 300 plants: Felony, 15 years’ incarceration, $10,000 fine
- Greater than 300 plants, less than 2,000 plants: Felony, between 3 and 15 years’ incarceration, $10,000 fine
- Between 2,000 and 10,000 plants: Felony, between 7 and 30 years in prison, $50,000 fine
- Within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park or other area specified by statute: Felony, 15 years’ incarceration, $10,000 fine
Musca Law Firm
If you or someone you love has been charged with any form of drug crime in the Fort Lauderdale area, it is imperative that you retain reputable legal counsel as soon as you are able to do so. The sooner our drug crime criminal defense attorneys are able to meet with you to examine the details of your case, the better your odds will be at seeing your charges resolve in the best possible way for you. These kinds of cases can, and will, affect every single area of your life, both public and private, and could even have unintended negative consequences for your friends and family members as well. If you have been, or think that you are about to be, charged with a drug-related crime of any sort, please reach out at (954) 302-5391 to our experienced legal team here at the Fort Lauderdale offices of Musca Law so that we can get started working on your legal defense as soon as possible. We offer all new clients a free initial case consultation, so please don’t hesitate to contact our office today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.