Drug Possession Lawyer in Orlando
The state of Florida has some of the strictest drug possession laws in the country. A person might be accused of possession if they were caught with drugs that they did not intend to sell, distribute or manufacture.
If you have been charged with drug possession, the first thing you need is an experienced criminal attorney who is well-versed in drug laws in the Sunshine State. The second thing you need is to know a bit about the laws pertaining to drug possession. There are a few facts that you should be armed with when you have been accused of any crime.
Drug Crime Statistics in Florida
Florida saw a total of 134,396 arrests for drug-related offenses in 2018. The majority of the offenders were adult males. Interestingly, drug arrests per 100,000 population have declined by more than 50% from its 2018 highs: from 641.3 for the state to 313.8. This decline in arrests may be due to the pandemic. As you can see from the chart, Orange County trends follow the state of Florida.
A conviction of felony possession can include a five-year sentence and a $50,000 fine. Marijuana possession under 20 grams is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, and it can come with jail time and a fine of up to $1000. If you have over 20 grams, you can be charged with a felony. Certain municipalities have loosened their enforcement of pot possession. Whether you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, your best bet is to talk to a drug possession lawyer. Orlando drug possession lawyers like Rahul Parikh of Parikh Law are familiar with the best defenses for drug offenses.
An Overview of Florida Drug Possession Laws
The following basic concepts can help you understand the charges you face.
Drug Possession Charges – How They Work
There are three major factors that influence the possible penalties you’ll face for drug crimes:
- The type of drug involved
- The weight of the controlled substance or controlled substances
- The activity surrounding the controlled substance or substance
For instance, you can be in possession of anywhere up to 20 grams of marijuana and it’s only a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. On the other hand, if you are caught with any amount of cocaine, it’s a third-degree felony, and the penalties are much more severe. This is because Florida drug laws deem cocaine to be a much more harmful substance.
Aggravating Factors in Drug Cases
In addition to the above-listed factors, the following aggravating factors can affect drug penalties:
- You have a prior record, particularly if it was for drug offenses
- You sold or provided a controlled substance that led to a person’s death.
- You were in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
- You were involved in a criminal drug organization
Drug Trafficking Is Not Necessarily the Same as Drug Sales
Drug trafficking in Florida is a first-degree felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. These drug offenses involve substantial weights of a controlled substance. In Florida, if you are caught with any of the following illegal substances in the corresponding weights, you can be charged with trafficking.
- Marijuana – 25 lbs
- Cocaine – 28 grams
- Heroin and other Opiates – 4 grams
- Hydrocodone – 28 grams
- Oxycodone – 7 grams
- Fentanyl – 4 grams
- Methamphetamine – 14 grams
Whether you are charged under the Florida drug crimes laws or under federal law, trafficking in a controlled substance has serious consequences. Contact the Parikh Law firm to discuss your drug-related charges with one of the top Orlando drug possession lawyers.
Common Defenses in Drug Cases
If you retain Rahul Parikh to represent you, you will have one of the top drug possession lawyers in Orlando working on building a solid defense for you. There are several tried and true angles of approach for dismantling the prosecutorial case. Here are a few examples of how an Orlando drug defense attorney can help:
- The probable cause for the stop was illegal
- The police had insufficient probable cause for a search
- The police entrapped you by offering you the controlled substance.
- You had legal possession of the controlled substance (i.e., prescription medications, marijuana from a licensed treatment center, etc.).
These are just a few of the easy ways that an Orlando drug attorney who is well-versed in Florida law can help you bet your drug-related charge.
Can You Be Charged for Possession When no Drugs are on You?
Even if you do not have drugs on you, you may be charged with drug possession. There are two different types of possession charges: actual and constructive. If law enforcement officers find drugs on your person, that is considered “actual possession.” If drugs are found in your home, in your car, or in the home of a friend or intimate partner, that is considered constructive possession. The prosecution will have to build their case based on indirect evidence.
Obviously, constructive charges are harder to prove. The prosecution must establish that you knew the drugs were there and that you were in control of them. They must also prove that you knew the drugs were illegal.
If the drugs are simply in your general vicinity, it will not be considered enough evidence to establish possession unless you were alone in that place. And even then, it may be difficult for the State to prove. For example, you would not be convicted for drug possession if you were in a car or home with someone who was taking drugs.
What is Considered Personal Use of Drugs?
If you have a small amount of drugs on you that you do not intend to sell, you will be charged with drug possession. If you are caught ingesting illegal drugs, you are likely to be charged with possession. Medical marijuana is considered legal in Florida if you have a medical prescription card, but it is still a Federal offense.
Why is Drug Possession a Felony?
Possession of drugs other than marijuana may result in third-degree felony charges. You can get up to five years in jail for possession, and you could face fines of up to $5000 for these kinds of charges. Florida is even tough on the possession of drug paraphernalia, such as a bong or a pipe.
Certain drugs like heroin are very addictive and can even cause death. Just having them is a felony because of how harmful they are. The sale of heroin is heavily and harshly punished in Florida with jail sentences of up to 15-30 years depending on the amount of drugs. If you are charged with drug possession, intent to sell, conspiracy to traffic, or drug trafficking charge you need an experienced, aggressive drug defense lawyer on your side. Call us at 321-558-2704.
How do you Fight Drug Possession Charges?
The first thing you need to do when charged with drug possession in Florida is to call our office and set up a consultation. Be sure to bring all the paperwork you have that is related to your case. Insufficient evidence is the most common defense of drug possession charges.
The state must prove all the points of a drug charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Our trained attorneys know how to tear down the prosecution’s argument and fight for your freedom.
How do you beat a drug possession charge?
This information does not create an attorney-client relationship, so if you need to speak to an Orlando defense attorney, then call now to schedule your free consultation with a defense lawyer at our law firm. These are some of the common types of defenses attorneys use to protect the rights of their clients charged with a drug crime.
If you have been charged with an Orlando drug crime, then call now for your free consultation with one of our Central Florida lawyers. Drug crimes are severely prosecuted and include multiple penalties such as losing your driver’s license, a minimum of 3 years in prison, and high fines. You can start your fight against your drug charges.
Did you possess the drugs at the alleged time?
There are times when the evidence does not prove who exactly possessed the drugs, especially if there were other people named in your case, such as a passenger in your car. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed drugs or contraband.
Suppose there is any reasonable doubt that you did not have any control over the drugs. In that case, you may face zero penalties, so contact the defense lawyers at Florida Trial Lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Were you subjected to an unlawful search?
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. A criminal defense attorney can look into your Orlando drug crime arrest to find evidence of law enforcement infringing on your rights by subjecting you to an unreasonable search. Orlando criminal defense attorney Rahul Parikh will review the circumstances around your stop to determine its legality.
Were you subjected to entrapment?
If it can be proven that an undercover agent repeated entreaties, lies, used coercion, or overbearing tactics to get you to do something illegal, such as sell them cannabis. It’s possible to have your possession or drug charge dropped. Call our Orlando criminal defense team at the Florida Trial Lawyer law firm to discuss your options during your free consultation.
Can a simple possession charge be dropped?
Drug crimes in Central Florida and throughout the state are heavily prosecuted. Many of our clients hope that their case will be dismissed, but the truth is that there is no guarantee of an outcome when in front of the state attorney or judge. They’re going to need to hear a compelling argument from your criminal defense legal team.
Is drug possession a felony in Florida?
Severe problems with narcotics in the 1980s in the US, especially cocaine making its way to Miami, led to harsher penalties for drug crimes. In Florida, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance, and in most cases, the Orlando drug crime is a felony charge rather than a misdemeanor charge. Depending on the type of drug, how much of it, whether it is legal (as in a prescription) or not, and how many prior convictions you have had, you could be facing increasingly severe penalties for your drug charges, which are written in law.
- Trafficking, cultivating, and possessing cannabis are prohibited under the law.
- Trafficking cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and hydrocodone are prohibited under the law.
- Driving while impaired by drugs is illegal, including prescription drugs
An Orlando drug attorney can give you legal advice during your consultation regarding which law is related to your case and charges you could be facing. Rahul Parikh is an Orlando drug crime lawyer with an impressive track record. Call today.
How serious is a drug paraphernalia charge?
Possessing or using drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor, according to Florida Statutes Annotated §893.147, which may be punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both in some cases. Drug paraphernalia includes:
- Cocaine spoons
- Crack pipes
- Rolling papers
- Syringes or hypodermic needles
Like fighting drug crimes, fighting a paraphernalia charge – things used to inhale or ingest or inject drugs – will require a strong criminal defense team. You will want to call our law firm to schedule your free consultation with an Orlando criminal defense attorney to discuss your drug offenses and get your legal strategy started.