Defending Against Drug Charges in Gainesville, Florida
In the state of Florida, drug crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. The severity of the criminal offense will depend on the type of drug and the quantities of the drug found on the person. No matter what the criminal offenses, it's important that you speak with an experienced drug charge defense lawyer in Gainesville, Florida, as soon as you can. There are several important hearings that will determine whether evidence may be admitted or suppressed in the pending criminal trial.
Without having an experienced private criminal defense attorney by your side, you could lose certain rights, lose track of evidence that could exonerate you, or cause you to incriminate yourself. When it comes to criminal offenses in Florida, it's important to address the accusations and the evidence head-on with the assistance of a qualified Gainesville drug charge lawyer.
Understanding the State of Florida's Drug Schedules
in the state of Florida, legislators divided drugs into five separate categories known as "schedules. "The most severe narcotic and illegal drugs without a prescription are categorized as Schedule I and The least severe category of drugs our Schedule 5. Criminal offenses involving Schedule I drugs lead to much harder and severe consequences than offenses involving any of the other drug categories.
Schedule I: These drugs have a higher risk for abuse and also do not offer any significant medical benefits. Some examples would include heroin or GHB. There are approximately 100 drugs that are categorized as Schedule I drugs.
Schedule II: Medications in this category present a high risk for abuse and may lead to chemical dependency. However, these medications also have a known medical purpose. Doctors often prescribe this medication, but there are strict restrictions on using and distributing these medications. An example of one of these medications includes morphine.
Schedule III: Drugs in this category have a lesser risk of abuse but have dangerous wrists associated with them. A significant number of medications fall into this category, including certain anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV: these drugs do you have an excepted medical use and are also considered to have a low potential for abuse. These medications also have a small risk of chemical dependency. An example of a Schedule IV drug is diazepam.
Schedule V: These drugs are the least likely to be abused and typically serve as a medication. They still require a prescription and one great example of this type of medication includes Robitussin AC.
If an individual is caught Possessing a controlled substance, the Scott schedule in which that Drug falls into will determine the consequences, punishments, and jail sense. If an individual is also charged with any other aggravating factors such as distribution or sales, he or she will face additional penalties.
Drug Crime Possession in Gainesville, Florida
One of the more common drug crimes that occur in the state of Florida is simple drug possession. This is when an individual has on them or inside of their vehicle or home an illegal drug or a controlled substance without a prescription from a licensed medical professional. When an individual has drugs in their possession, this is called constructive possession. In order for the prosecution to prove constructive possession, prosecutors in the case will need to demonstrate that the suspect or defendant had control over the substance and knew they had possession of the substance. If another person left drugs at your home during a party and you were unaware that the drugs were there, you could argue that you did not have constructive possession.
Punishments for Possessing and illegal narcotics or a prescription drug without a valid prescription will depend upon several different factors, including the type of drug, the quantities of those drugs, and what exactly you were doing when caught with the drugs. For example, were you engaged in drug sales or simply possessing the drugs. Unfortunately, when an individual has been charged with a crime, it could be very difficult for that person to be eligible for certain government funds, jobs, and financial aid. Here, she could lose their driver's license.
Drug Distribution, Trafficking, and Conspiracy Criminal Offenses in Gainesville, Florida
In the state of Florida, there are several different types of drug crimes. Simple possession is the least severe drug crime that an individual could face.
The crime of possession with intent to distribute is a much more severe criminal offense. According to Florida law and federal law, drug distribution, drug trafficking, or conspiracy to commit drug offenses are felony offenses. In order for the prosecution to prove possession with the intent to distribute, states attorneys must demonstrate that:
- You are aware of the substance.
- The drug is a controlled substance or illegal substance.
- You were found in possession of the substance.
- You intended to deliver, manufacture, or sell the substance.
If law enforcement also finds large sums of money, testing kits, scales, baggies, or any other types of drug paraphernalia associated with the drug trade, you could face these criminal charges.
Drug trafficking includes the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, delivery, or transportation of illegal drugs or prescription medication without a prescription into the state of Florida. In order for an individual to be charged with drug trafficking, he or she would have to possess a certain amount of the substance as outlined by Florida law. The amount of the drug will determine whether or not the defendant will be charged with a drug traffic in charge.
A criminal conspiracy charge involves two or more people who are agreeing to commit a drug problem. Prosecutors often use conspiracy charges to penalize people for plotting to commit any illegal activities. In order for the prosecution to convert an individual of criminal conspiracy to sell drugs, the prosecution would be required to produce evidence that two or more individuals carried out the drug crime. In most cases, conspiracy to sell an illegal drug is a felony in the state of Florida.
Alternative Sentencing in Drug Crimes in Gainesville, Florida
Although Florida has very strict laws and penalties involving illegal drugs, some individuals might be qualified to receive treatment instead of punishment. Throughout the United States and especially in Florida, the legal system has been slow and acknowledging the need for alternative sentencing programs for those who have addictions. Alternative sentencing enables an individual to get help and avoid prison time in some circumstances. A few examples of alternative sentencing programs include:
- Drug court
- Substance-abuse courses
- Drug counseling
- Community service
- Drug treatment programs
Not everybody will qualify for these alternative sentencing programs. If you or a family member are facing any drug-related criminal charges, it's important to speak with one of our attorneys to determine whether there's an opportunity to pursue an alternative sentencing program in the case.
Penalties for Drug-related Crimes in Gainesville, Florida
The penalties for a drug crime in the state of Florida may range from probation to counseling to several years in prison. In Florida, most Schedule IV and Schedule V Drugs result in misdemeanor charges. However, if an individual is charged with trafficking in a Schedule I drug, They will face a first or second-degree felony, which could result in a prison sentence of up to 15 or up to 30 years.
Defending Against Drug Charges in Gainesville, Florida
Your drug crimes defense attorney must carefully review the circumstances and facts in your case to determine the best strategy to defend you. If the prosecutor's evidence is weak, your Gainesville drug crime defense lawyer could pursue a voluntary dismissal.
In addition, you're a criminal defense attorney should examine the circumstances that led to the search, seizure, and arrest to determine whether or not your legal rights have been violated. For example, if there was an illegal search, your attorney should it's up to remove that evidence through a motion to suppress. At some point, the state may not have enough evidence to convict you, and your case will be dismissed.
In addition, an experienced criminal defense attorney will explain your best options and help to reduce your chances of being sent to jail.
Find a Gainesville Drug Crime Defense Attorney
If you or a member of your family are facing a drug-related criminal charge in Gainesville, Florida, speak to Musca Law attorney as soon as possible. You may call our firm 24/7 at 352-397-9915, or you may visit us at our local law office at 309 NE 1st Street, Suite 15 Gainesville, FL 32601
309 NE 1st St #15
Gainesville, FL 32601
Hours: Open now: Open 24 hours
Phone: (352) 397-9915
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