4 FAQs about Drug Possession Charges in Florida
Florida’s lawmakers have taken a hard stance against those caught carrying illegal drugs. As such, if you were arrested for possession of a controlled substance, you shouldn’t expect to get away with just a slap on the wrist. Penalties can include community service, fines, and even lengthy jail sentences.
In this article, we answer common questions about drug possession charges in the state and explain how a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you protect your rights.
1. What Is the Definition of Possession?
In the state, it’s illegal to be in constructive or actual possession of a controlled substance, unless you have legal permission to be carrying the substance on your person. As such, there are certain situations in which you may possess a controlled substance. For example, if you have a medical marijuana card, you are allowed to have up to a certain amount of this drug in your possession.
According to the law, you are deemed to be in actual possession of a drug if you are either holding or carrying it on you. For instance, the substance might be in your pocket, in your hands, or a backpack. Constructive possession can be complicated to prove as the prosecutor will have to show that while the drugs were not physically in your possession, you knew of the presence of drugs and had access to these substances.
2. What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession?
The penalties for possession of a controlled substance will vary based on both the kind of drug and the amount you were carrying at the time of the arrest. For example, if you were caught with 20g of illegal marijuana in your possession, you might be sentenced to spend a year in jail. However, if you were arrested with 10 grams or more of MDMA or ecstasy, you could be facing up to five years in prison.
3. Will I Have to Go to Court?
Not necessarily. If you’re a first-time offender, you may be eligible for the state’s pretrial diversion program which, once you’ve completed certain requirements, may result in the reduction or dismissal of your charges. These programs were introduced to reduce the strain on court and jail systems.
4. Should I Hire an Attorney to Help with My Case?
While you can fight your charges on your own, it’s all too easy to make serious mistakes that will haunt you for the rest of your life. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights by investigating the arrest, gathering the necessary evidence to attack your charges, and working with you to achieve a favorable outcome.
Discuss Your Situation with a Stuart, FL Drug Crimes Attorney
Were you arrested for possession? You may be able to fight your charges and have the penalties reduced or the case against you dismissed. Todd A. Kawecki is a Florida drug crimes lawyer who knows what it takes to achieve a favorable outcome in even the most complex cases.
As part of a free case review, he can answer your questions, explain your rights, and discuss how he might proceed with your case. Reach out to us at 772-485-4500 or drop us a message HERE to request a consultation.