Drug Offenses

Orlando Drug Offense Attorney

Orlando Drug Offense Attorney

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Orlando: (321) 263-6028

Florida’s drug laws are some of the toughest in the United States.  Many cases involve mandatory minimum prison sentence ranging from 3 to 25 years.  In addition, any conviction for a drug crime in the State of Florida carries a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation, even if it is only a misdemeanor.  Therefore, you should hire an experienced attorney to defend your case.

There are many possibilities for resolving drug cases in Florida.  It is possible to get into a program such as pre-trial diversion or pre-trial intervention, drug court, probation, or other alternatives to jail time.  The sentence in any given case is typically based on the amount of the drugs in question, and a person’s criminal history.

Here is some more information about some drug related offenses in Florida:

Marijuana

Marijuana related offenses are often times broken down into three categories.

Possession

Possession of Marijuana can be a misdemeanor or a very serious felony.  However, even a misdemeanor charge involving marijuana can result in a revocation of your privilege to drive in the State of Florida for 2 years.  Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation and a fine of $1,000.00. 

Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a third degree felony punishable by 5 years in state prison and a $5,000.00 fine.

Other variations of possession related offenses involve Cultivation, or Possession with Intent to Sell.  These crimes may be more serious with the potential for extended prison sentences.

Trafficking

Trafficking in Marijuana generally involves the possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or transportation of 25 pounds or more of marijuana or 300 or more plants.  This charge involves a minimum mandatory 3 year prison sentence and $25,000.00 fine.  For between 2,000 and 9,999 pounds or marijuana or 2,000 to 9,999 plants, the minimum mandatory is 7 years in state prison and a $50,000.00 fine.  For 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana, the minimum mandatory prison sentence is 15 years with a $200,000.00 fine.

Controlled Substances

Florida’s controlled substances law are aimed not only at drug dealers, but people with drug addiction issues as well.  Florida’s sentencing scheme for controlled substance related offenses often involves harsh mandatory minimum sentences, driver’s license revocations, and fines.  It is also possible that people arrested for drug related offenses could have their property (such as homes or vehicles) subject to forfeiture by the State of Florida.

Examples of controlled substances in Florida are: cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, molly, methamphetamine, oxycodone, or Xanax.

Typically, drug related offenses are broken down into possession related offenses, and trafficking. 

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida is a third degree felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine.  In addition, a person convicted of Possession of a Controlled Substance faces a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation.  Take a look at the defenses section for a brief overview of some common defenses used in drug cases.

Trafficking offenses are broken down by controlled substance:

Trafficking in Cocaine involves the knowing possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or transportation of 28 grams or more of any mixture containing cocaine.  The maximum punishment for this offense is 30 years in prison.  However, the minimum mandatory sentence may vary depending upon the amount of cocaine.  For a quantity of 28 to 199 grams of cocaine, a person faces a 3 year minimum mandatory sentence and $50,000.00 fine.  For a quantity of 200 to 399 grams of cocaine, a person faces 7 years in prison and a $100,000.00 fine.  For 400 grams to 149 kilograms of cocaine, a person faces 15 year in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.  In addition, a person faces a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation and revocation of any professional license issued by the State of Florida.  Take a look at the defenses section for a brief overview of some common defenses used in drug cases.

Trafficking in Hydrocodone involves the knowing possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or transportation of 14 grams or more of any mixture containing Hydrocodone.  This offense is generally punishable by up to 30 years in prison.  However, the minimum mandatory sentence may vary depending on the amount of Hydrocodone.  For example, 14 to 28 grams of Hydrocodone requires a 3 year prison sentence and $50,000.00 fine.  28 to 50 grams of Hydrocodone requires a 7 year prison sentence and $100,000.00 fine.  50 to 200 grams of Hydrocodone requires a 15 year prison sentence and $500,000.00 fine.  200 grams to 30 kilograms of Hydrocodone requires a 25 year prison sentence and $750,000.00 fine.  In addition, a person faces a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation and revocation of any professional license issued by the State of Florida.  Take a look at the defenses section for a brief overview of some common defenses used in drug cases.

Trafficking in Ecstacy (MDMA) involves the knowing possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or transportation of 10 grams or more of any mixture containing MDMA.  This offense is generally punishable by up to 30 years in prison.  However, the minimum mandatory sentence may vary depending upon the amount of MDMA.  For example, between 10 and 200 grams of MDMA requires a 3 year prison sentence and $50,000.00 fine.  Between 200 and 400 grams of MDMA requires a 7 year prison sentence and $100,000.00 fine.  Between 400 grams and 30 kilograms of MDMA requires a 15 year prison sentence and $500,000.00 fine.  In addition, a person faces a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation and revocation of any professional license issued by the State of Florida.  Take a look at the defenses section for a brief overview of some common defenses used in drug cases.

Trafficking in Oxycodone involves the knowing possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or transportation of 7 grams or more of any mixture containing oxycodone.  This offense is generally punishable by up to 30 years in prison.  However, the minimum mandatory sentence may vary depending upon the amount of MDMA.  For example, between 7 and 14 grams of Oxycodone requires a 3 year prison sentence and $50,000.00 fine.  Between 14 and 25 grams of Oxycodone requires a 7 year prison sentence and $100,000.00 fine.  Between 25 and 100 grams of Oxycodone requires a 15 year prison sentence and $500,000.00 fine.  Between 100 grams and 30 kilograms of Oxycodone requires a 25 year prison sentence and $750,000.00 fine.  In addition, a person faces a mandatory 2 year driver’s license revocation and revocation of any professional license issued by the State of Florida.  Take a look at the defenses section for a brief overview of some common defenses used in drug cases.

Defenses to Drug Offenses

Illegal Search or Seizure: It is possible to have the evidence (the drugs) suppressed, or thrown out by the judge based on the conduct of the police.  For example, if the police pulled your vehicle over without reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic offense had or was about to occur, you may have a basis to have the evidence suppressed.  Another common scenario occurs where a person’s car is stopped lawfully, but the police search the vehicle or the occupants of the vehicle without a lawful basis.  It is also possible to challenge a search of seizure where police have a search warrant depending upon the information contained in the warrant, and what the police told the judge to get the warrant.

Substantial Assistance (defense to trafficking): Substantial assistance may be used, when agreed to by the State Attorney’s Office, as a tool to reduce the potential for minimum mandatory prison time in trafficking cases.  This allows the court to reduce a sentence for someone convicted of drug trafficking who assists law enforcement in arresting a specific amount of people involved in trafficking narcotics within a given period of time.

Entrapment: This occurs when law enforcement (or someone working with law enforcement) gets someone to commit a crime who would not have otherwise done so, but for the conduct of law enforcement.  There are several ways police can commit entrapment either through egregious conduct, or inducing someone through various ways.

Other defenses include a lack of knowledge or ability to control the drugs.  A common scenario occurs where drugs are found in an automobile or home when multiple people are present.  It can be difficult for the State to prove who possessed the drugs in question. 

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