Aggressive Drug Crime Defense
If you’re facing charges of a drug crime, such as drug possession, you need the help of an experienced Pensacola criminal lawyer from The Morris Firm. Our legal team has the experience, knowledge, and skills to defend you in court. We’ve handled cases just like yours, and we’re ready to help you fight for your freedom.
Drug crimes are serious offenses in Florida. If you get arrested, you could face harsh penalties, including jail time. Something like drug trafficking carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony conviction, you should retain legal representation from a trusted and esteemed law firm.
Call The Morris Firm at (850) 583-9112 today to speak with a Pensacola drug crime lawyer about your case.
Drug Crimes in Florida
Drug crimes in Florida may include:
- Drug Possession: Having physical control of a controlled substance for personal use.
- Drug Manufacturing: The direct or indirect producing, compounding, growing, preparing, cultivating, processing, or converting a controlled substance through extraction from chemical synthesis, natural resources, or both.
- Drug Trafficking: The possession or transportation of a controlled substance while intending to distribute or sell.
- Prescription Drug Crimes: The unlawful possession of a prescription drug, obtaining a prescription fraudulently, or illegally possessing a large amount of a controlled substance.
Schedules of Controlled Substances
Substances, drugs, and specific chemicals that make up drugs fall under five schedules, depending on their medical use and potential dependency.
Schedule I: Drugs with no accepted use for medical purposes and a high potential for abuse.
Schedule II: Dangerous drugs with a high potential for abuse and possible physical or psychological dependence.
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
Schedule III: Moderate to low potential for psychological or physical dependence. Abuse potential is less than a Schedule I or Schedule II drug.
- Anabolic steroids
- Substances with less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit
Schedule IV: Low potential for dependence and abuse.
Schedule V: Drugs typically used for analgesic, antidiarrheal, and antitussive purposes. They have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs.
- Cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters
Drug Possession Penalties
Drug possession is an offense that doesn’t include distributing, manufacturing, or selling a controlled substance. It is merely the possession of one for someone’s own personal use. Florida laws convict most possession offenses as a felony.
To determine whether someone possessed an illegal drug, the prosecutor will have to prove the following elements:
- The seized drug in the defendant’s possession is a controlled substance under Florida law;
- The defendant knew or should have known about the presence of the substance and its illegal nature; and
- The defendant had control over the presence of the controlled substance and its location.
The penalty you could face for possession of an illegal substance depends on the amount you’re carrying.
First-Degree Misdemeanor Possession
No more than 20 grams of marijuana (unless there’s a medical marijuana prescription)
- Up to one year in jail or probation
- Maximum of $1,000 in fines
- Court costs
If there are four prior convictions, the penalty could be a year in jail, home detention up to one year, and mandatory treatment.
Third-Degree Felony Possession
No more than five years in prison for the possession of:
- 20 grams or more of marijuana (unless there’s a medical marijuana prescription)
- No more than 28 grams of cocaine
- Up to one gram of LSD
- Up to 10 grams of ecstasy (MDMA)
- No more than 4 grams of heroin/opiate
Second-Degree Felony Possession
This includes the possession of chemicals involved in manufacturing drugs like methamphetamine and ecstasy.
- A maximum of 15 years in prison
- A maximum of $10,000 in fines
First-Degree Felony Possession
A maximum 30-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines for the possession of:
- Over 25 pounds of marijuana
- More than 10 grams of ecstasy (MDMA)
- More than 28 grams of cocaine
- Over 1 gram of LSD
- Over 4 grams of heroin/opiate
Drug Manufacturing Penalties
It’s illegal to cultivate or manufacture controlled substances in the state of Florida. Illegal acts include growing marijuana plants and processing substances, such as phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, methamphetamine, and more. The punishment for drug manufacturing could be harsher for individuals who manufacture drugs within 1,000 feet of a church or school.
The cultivation of marijuana could result in:
- Five years in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
The manufacturing of the following controlled substances could lead to a maximum of 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines:
- Up to 4 grams of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
- Up to 14 grams of methamphetamine
- Up to 4 grams of opiate (heroin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, etc.)
- Up to 1 kilogram of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
- Up to 28 grams of Phencyclidine (PCP)
Drug Trafficking Penalties
The penalties for trafficking marijuana include:
- Three years in prison and a $25,000 fine for cannabis between 25 and 2,000 pounds
- Seven years in prison and a $50,000 fine for cannabis between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds
- 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine for more than 10,000 pounds of cannabis
The penalties for trafficking cocaine include:
- Three years in prison and a $25,000 fine for cocaine between 28 grams and 200 grams
- Seven years in prison and a $50,000 fine for cocaine between 200 grams and 400 grams
- Fifteen years in prison and a $200,000 fine for cocaine between 400 grams and 150 kilograms
- Life in prison without parole for more than 150 kilograms of cocaine
The penalties for trafficking prescription drugs include:
- Three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for drugs between 4 grams and 14 grams
- 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine for drugs between 14 grams and 28 grams
- 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for drugs between 28 grams and 30 grams
- Life in prison without parole for more than 30 grams of drugs
The penalties for trafficking amphetamine and methamphetamine include:
- Three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for substances between 14 grams and 28 grams
- Seven years in prison and a $100,000 fine for substances between 28 grams and 200 grams
- 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for substances over 200 grams
Prescription Drug Crime Penalties
There are various punishments for the illegal possession of prescription drugs, depending on certain circumstances, such as the type of drug and the amount. Prescription drugs fall under two main categories: controlled substances and non-controlled substances. The penalties are different for each.
This penalty is for those with illegal possession of a prescription drug that is not a controlled substance.
- A maximum of 60 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
This penalty is for anyone possessing a prescription drug that falls under the controlled substances category without a valid prescription.
- A maximum of five years in prison
- A maximum of $5,000 in fines
This penalty is typically for those with a significant quantity of prescription drugs and ends up being a trafficking charge. As an example, possessing over seven grams of oxycodone could result in a first-degree felony conviction for prescription drug trafficking. The maximum jail sentence and fines vary depending on the type of drug and how much is in the perpetrator’s possession.
How to Defend Against a Drug Crime Charge in Florida
There are different defenses The Morris Firm could use if you get charged with a drug crime. It will depend on factors, such as the type of drug involved, the quantity, and the charges against you.
- Illegal search and seizure: Under the Fourth Amendment, you have rights against illegal searches and seizures. If law enforcement found incriminating against you but obtained it illegally, it could violate your Fourth Amendment rights. Additionally, intimidation by any police officer to search your home or car is an involuntary search, which is also illegal.
- Possession: If you were unaware of the drug’s existence, they belong to someone else, or someone planted them in your home or car, we could argue that they don’t belong to you and there was no way for you to know they were there.
- Lost evidence: During your trial, the officer that arrested you is supposed to present the drug they found in your possession. If they lost it, there is no longer valid evidence. Additionally, it’s difficult for the prosecution to establish that the substance shown during trial is the same one you allegedly possessed at the time of the charges.
- Entrapment: This occurs when the police coerce someone into committing a drug crime or doing something to cause them to commit a crime they would have never committed.
Defend Yourself With the Help of The Morris Firm
Our Pensacola drug crime lawyer understands the pressure you’re facing. When you’re facing the possibility of time in prison, it’s overwhelming. You’re going through a difficult time in your life, and we want to help you get through it. When you hire us, we’ll build a strong defense to get your charges reduced or dropped. It’s our job to rip apart the prosecution’s case and prove that you’re innocent or someone violated your rights during the criminal process.
The Morris Firm has extensive experience fighting for our clients and ensuring they receive a fair chance at clearing their names and getting their lives back. If you want to schedule a free case evaluation, call us today at (850) 583-9112.