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Understanding Florida’s Drug Laws

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Understanding Florida’s Drug Laws

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Here in the Sunshine State, thousands of citizens are shuttled through the justice system for drug-related charges. From minor possession of marijuana, to large-scale trafficking of narcotics, drug offences are highly diverse, and don’t always affect the people one might suspect. Despite the media’s portrayal of drug traffickers or manufacturers, these kinds of arrests involve a wide range of different people from different demographics. Especially since the type of drug-related charge can be dramatically different from one case to the next.

For a basic overview, the five main types of drug charges are:

  •       Distribution
  •       Sale
  •       Manufacture
  •       Purchase
  •       Possession

Drug possession is generally the most common charge here in Florida. Drug charges, depending on the intent, volume of drug, type of drug, and other related circumstances, can range from a misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, and only a qualified drug defense attorney in Florida can give you an accurate assessment of your case.

In any drug case, prosecutors must define and demonstrate several different factors, including:

  •       The substance itself, its classification, amount, etc…
  •       Your knowledge of the substance
  •       Your control/possession of the substance

Since our culture tends to have a very negative view of drugs and those who use/sell/possess them, it’s especially important to have a good attorney to defend you. The prosecution may attempt to inflate your charges or use certain trigger words like “trafficking” or “intent to sell” in order to sway the judge and/or jury in your case. Thankfully, there are many different avenues for defense in a drug case. Your attorney may be able to find several holes in the prosecution’s presentation, and instead demonstrate evidence of things like:

  •       Suppression of evidence
  •       Entrapment
  •       Substantial assistance
  •       Youthful offender
  •       Unlawful search or seizure
  •       Laboratory error
  •       Police abuse of power
  •       Unwitting possession

Many consequences of drug charges are severe, and can significantly affect your life, so your drug defense is something you must take seriously. In the state of Florida, legal statutes outline mandatory minimum sentencing for drug possession, sale, distribution, purchase, and manufacture, and these can be harsh. Depending on the type of drug and the amount, you could be looking at 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

When you are ready to let an expert create a strong defense on your behalf for your upcoming drug-related case, get in touch with Harnage Law today and request your free consultation.