Florida is becoming increasingly receptive to helping, rather than punishing, people who are using or abusing drugs. Senate Bill 346, currently making its way through the Florida Senate, would do away with harsh minimum mandatory sentencing for drug crimes in which the perpetrator has no prior violent felony convictions, no gang affiliations, and did not cause serious injury or death. This is encouraging news; however, Florida residents must still be mindful of common drug crimes and their repercussions.
Below, we discuss common drug crimes in the State of Florida and their defenses. If you have been accused of a drug crime, you do not have to deal with it alone. A drug crimes attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan is available to assist you.
Recreational marijuana may soon be legal in Florida, but that is not the case in 2020. Currently, Florida law states that a person carrying less than 20 grams of marijuana without a medical marijuana prescription can still be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Possession of most Schedule I drugs (drugs with a high potential for abuse and with no medical use) is a third-degree felony, a charge that carries more significant punishments.
Depending on the specifics of your case, your drug crimes defense attorney in Clearwater may employ a strategy centered around the fact that the drugs simply aren’t yours. It’s all too easy for a roommate or passenger in a vehicle to forget or intentionally leave drugs in a location where it could be perceived as yours. When the drugs aren’t in plain view, or if the area where the drugs are found is a common area or jointly occupied by more than one person, this defense may be effective.
Drug Selling and Trafficking
Some drug laws are designed to severely punish the trafficking of illegal drugs. The problem with these laws lies in just how little of a drug is needed for the state to prove that a person is actually engaged in trafficking illegal drugs. For example, a person who possesses only 4 grams of hydromorphone in the State of Florida can face a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years and a $50,000 fines.
When it comes to accusations of selling and trafficking in illicit drugs, there are numerous defenses that an experienced drug crimes attorney in Clearwater can employ. At Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, our attorneys can review the specifics of your case to determine if any of the following defenses apply:
- Reweighing the Illegal Drugs
- Seeking a Reduction of the charge on the theory that the Possession was for Personal Use and not a Profit-Making Enterprise
- Unlawful Search and Seizure
In cases where there is not a factual or legal defense available, we can still work to have your charges reduced or argue that you should receive rehabilitation in lieu of punishment. Being charged with a drug crime can be a scary ordeal, one that is often unjustly placed on the shoulders of individuals struggling with substance abuse. For a drug crimes defense attorney who will stick by your side and guide you through this trying process, turn to the team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.