There are two places where a person can be prosecuted in the United States: State Court and Federal Court. This section addresses drug crimes prosecuted in Florida state courts. Drug Crimes (Federal Court) are addressed in another section. Most drug crimes are prosecuted in State court. As a Florida drug crimes attorney, I defend people accused of drug crimes in Florida’s state court. We also help people who are accused Federal drug crimes.
State drug crimes in Florida are prosecuted three different ways:
- Simple Possession
- Possession with Intent
Simple Possession is the “user” end of the drug trade. It is a relatively minor offense and represents the most common type of case a Florida drug crimes attorney will encounter in the courts. Simple possession usually occurs when a person has a small amount of a controlled substance in their possession and was not engaged in any act of selling, manufacturing, or delivering.
SENTENCE: A criminal attorney can usually get you court costs and/or probation.
Click these links to read more:
Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture, or Deliver
Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture, or Deliver is very different from simple possession. The main difference is that “Possession with Intent” is a crime designed to combat the drug trade. A Florida drug crimes attorney located in a major metroplitan area like Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Palm Beach will encounter these cases all the time. Possession with intent makes it a crime to engage in the business or commercial aspect of drugs. If you sell, manufacture, grow, or deliver drugs, this is the charge you will face.
SENTENCE: Up to 15 years in prison. 3 year minimum mandatory sentence applies within 1000 feet of a school, church or other protected area.
Trafficking in Controlled Substances
Trafficking is the most serious drug offense a Florida drug crimes attorney will encounter in court. Pursuant to Florida Statutes, it is a first degree felony and most offenders get some time in prison if they lose their cases. To get charged with trafficking, a person does not need to be involved in selling, manufacturing, or delivering. Rather, the act of trafficking is no different than simple possession.
Where simple possession is the act of having a small quantity of drugs, trafficking is the act of possessing a large quantity of drugs. Plus, the more you have, the worse it gets.
The purpose of the trafficking statute is to criminalize the part of the drug trade that does not involve selling, manufacturing, or delivering. This is because people involved in selling, manufacturing, or delivering drugs do not engage in the actual act of selling, manufacturing, or delivering on a 24/7 basis. But that does not mean they are not actively involved in the drug trade.
By making it illegal to possess large quantities of drugs, the Florida Statutes makes it easier to prosecute people involved in the drug trade who are caught doing nothing more than mere possession. This is because the law assumes your are involved in the drug trade when you possess large quantities of drugs that go well beyond personal use.
SENTENCE: Drug Trafficking is a 1st Degree Felony that is punishable up to 30 years or LIFE in prison without parole, depending on the facts of the case.
For example, if you are convicted of Trafficking in Cocaine, more than 150 kilos, you are subjected to a mandatory LIFE sentence.
Additionally, depending on the drug in question and the amount of that drug your case involves, you may also be facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence.
For example, if you are convicted of Trafficking in Cocaine, 200g or more, but less than 400g, you will be sentenced to a minimum mandatory sentence of 7 years in prison.