You can be charged with drug possession, actual or constructive, for a variety of illegal substances. These include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled dangerous substances (CDS) not legally obtained through a valid prescription. If you are charged with actual possession, this means drugs were found on you or in a container that was in your possession (such as a purse or wallet). Constructive possession means drugs were found in an area or place over which you had control (such as your vehicle).
If you are charged with drug possession, there are various penalties that may be assessed in Florida; these include First Degree Misdemeanor for possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana or use/possession/manufacture/delivery or advertisement of drug paraphernalia, which carries a maximum penalty of one (1) year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and Third Degree Felony for possession of marijuana (more than 20 grams) or a controlled substance (such as heroin, cocaine or meth), which carries a maximum of five (5) years in prison and fines up to $5,000. Additional charges include First Degree Felony for possession of heroin or other Schedule 1 drugs (more than 10 grams) and Second Degree Felony for possession of an unlawful chemical. A First Degree Felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. For a Second Degree Felony, you can face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000, as well.
A drug possession conviction can have serious implications and affect your life, including serious jail time and loss of your Florida driver’s license for up to two (2) years. It can also restrict your ability to secure a career in a profession that requires a background check or has certification requirements. In addition, your conviction will become part of the public record, allowing anyone to dig up your criminal history. In Duval County, if you are charged with a non-violent felony offense, you may be eligible for diversion into Adult Drug Court, which is a 12-month program implemented to help people with drug and alcohol addiction. This program reduces jail time and gives you the opportunity to make changes in your life.
If you are arrested for drug possession, do not plead guilty or accept a plea without speaking to a criminal defense attorney first. An experienced drug lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the facts of your case. For example, the police officer who arrested you may have conducted an illegal search of your car or home, or worse, he/she could have planted the drugs on you. Your attorney will review all evidence and work on your behalf to ensure you get a fair and just decision.
Our lawyers have over 20 years of combined experience in the criminal justice system. We focus solely on criminal law due to the unique and complicated issues specific to criminal cases. Our firm will treat you with respect and discuss your options to ensure you fully understand what potential outcomes may result from your arrest. We have extensive experience with drug crime trials and we will vigorously fight for your rights. For a free case evaluation of your recent drug arrest, please call the Reinhold Law Firm at 904-354-2444 or contact us online.