Defending Against Florida Drug Charges
If you’ve been charged with drug crimes, the first thing you must do is secure an experienced local criminal defense attorney who is committed to getting the best possible outcomes for you. Drug charges are serious business in Florida, and, if convicted, your life will be seriously impacted with no-nonsense penalties. In many cases, mandatory minimum sentences are attached to the charges.
An Overview of Drug Charges
Let’s take a cursory look at three common types of charges and associated penalties that you could be facing here in Florida:
- Possession: Let’s say you’re charged with simple possession of a controlled substance. The amount in question plays a major role in determining possible penalties. Anything under 20 grams is a misdemeanor. Authorities consider this amount likely to be simply for personal use. Nonetheless, the penalties can be life-altering for the “casual” drug user: up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. As the amount in possession increases, so do the penalties. Anything over 20 grams is a felony, and charges can be for as much as 30 years, with fines up to $200,000. And take note: possession within 1,000 feet of a college, park, or school adds $10,000 in fines and as many as 15 years to your sentence.
- Paraphernalia: Paraphernalia charges rack up another year behind bars and $1,000 in fines as yet another serious misdemeanor charge.
- Sale: As with possession charges, the sale of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a year behind bars and a $1,000 fine. Beyond that amount, the charge is bumped up to a felony, punishable by 30 years in prison and as much as $200,000 in fines.
While penalties are stiffer related to some of the hard-core drugs like hash ((possession of 3 grams can put you behind bars for five years with a $10,000 fine), don’t be fooled into thinking that if you’re sticking to marijuana, you’re scot-free. As much as many would like it to be legal, cannabis is very much against the law in the Sunshine State. Possession of anything under 20 grams could put you in prison for a year and cost you $1,000 in fines. 20+ grams could land you behind bars for five years and stick you with $5,000 in fines. Penalties intensify as the amount of cannabis in your possession rises. Although officers may use their discretion in determining whether to cite or to arrest individuals who possess less than 20 grams of pot, it’s important to remember that the laws on the books are still associated with severe penalties.
In terms of medical marijuana, the laws relating to edibles have recently relaxed, allowing those with valid prescriptions to take advantage of lozenges, baked items, and other forms of cannabis to treat medical conditions.
Your Legal Defense
Drug laws are designed to make a serious impact on offenders, and truly, they do. That’s why it is so important to have legal representation when you are facing such charges. At the Law Office of Julia Kefalinos, you will get nothing less. Contact our Miami drug crimes attorneys today for a confidential consultation.