Florida courts impose harsh sentences when a defendant is convicted of a drug crime. Drugs that are criminalized under state law include marijuana, acid, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Different activities involving controlled substances are subject to criminal prosecution, including possession, manufacturing, selling, and importation. If you are charged with a drug crime, you should discuss your situation with Jacksonville drug crime lawyer Kevin M. Cobbin.Drug Crimes
Under Florida Statutes Section 893.13, you cannot sell, make, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance. You can be convicted of drug charges involving illegal narcotics, as well as unauthorized possession of prescription drugs. The charges against you will depend on which controlled substance was involved, and how much of it. Possession of a minor amount of marijuana or a prescription drug may be charged as a misdemeanor. However, possession of most substances is a felony.
Controlled substances are divided into five schedules of drugs that will affect sentencing. Different aspects of substances that could affect which schedule contains a drug include whether there is a currently accepted medical use, how likely the drug is to be abused, and the likelihood that it will cause dependence when abused. Section 893.03 provides for schedules similar to the federal drug schedules; Schedule I drugs are punished most harshly.
Small quantities of a drug may only result in a possession charge. While possession is less serious than some charges, you still should consult a drug crime attorney in Jacksonville.
You can be charged with actual or constructive possession. You can be charged with actual possession if controlled substances were found on your person, body, or clothing. For instance, if the police find a bag of cocaine in your pocket, you could be charged with actual possession.
Constructive possession happens when somebody controls a banned substance without having it on his or her person. A prosecutor hoping to establish constructive possession will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the drugs were within your control, (2) you knew that the drugs were in that place, and (3) you knew that the drugs or associated contraband was illegal.
If you possess over a certain amount of a controlled substance, you could be charged with intent to sell, regardless of whether your actual intention was only personal consumption.Drug Trafficking
Some people associate drug trafficking with kingpins and a criminal underworld and mistakenly assume that they are free from the possibility of being charged with drug trafficking. This is not true in Florida. If you possess a threshold amount of a substance, you can be charged with drug trafficking. This is a very serious charge, and you should immediately contact a Jacksonville drug crime attorney.
Courts are required to impose a mandatory minimum sentence for drug trafficking convictions. This means that judges do not have much discretion over the length of a sentence once you are convicted.
Different thresholds that constitute trafficking are assigned for different drugs. For instance, the threshold amount of heroin is four grams; if you are caught with four grams of heroin, you can be charged with heroin trafficking. The threshold of oxycodone is seven grams. Drug trafficking may be charged as a first-degree felony. For a first-degree felony, you could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.Defenses
Even if there is evidence against you, a conviction for a drug crime is not certain. We may be able to raise various procedural or substantive defenses on your behalf. Sometimes the prosecution is unable to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt with regard to one or more elements. We may be able to get evidence suppressed if it was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. For example, if the drugs at issue were found in an unlawful search and seizure, this would be a basis to move to suppress that evidence. There are other situations in which it is appropriate to attack the credibility of a confidential informant.Retain a Seasoned Drug Crime Lawyer in Jacksonville
Drug crimes are punished harshly in Florida. If you need legal representation from a Jacksonville attorney, you should consult Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.