Considering how strict state laws are around narcotics, the drug possession penalties one could face if arrested can be significant.

However, not only are the penalties strict, but they are also complex. This means you could face an arrest, fines, prison time, probation, and possibly more, depending on where you are and what you are doing if you are caught in a drug sting or bust.

Even if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could still be charged with a crime.

Different Types of Drug Charges

There are several drug charges you could face in Florida, and they all bring different penalties:

  • Possession – Drug possession happens when you are caught with just a small amount of drugs.
  • Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute –You can be charged with Possession With Intent to Sell or Distribute if you have drugs (packaged or loose), drug paraphernalia (like a scale and/or baggies, and/or money in your possession
  • Trafficking – Drug trafficking happens when you possess a large amount of a drug. The trafficking amounts are different for each type of drug.
  • Manufacturing – This can include selling/possessing drug-making equipment and chemicals.

What are Drug Schedules?

Not all drugs have the same effect on people, which is why drugs are put into different classifications, known as schedules. Your punishment will be based on which scheduled drug you are charged with.

Schedule I

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Peyote
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD

Schedule II

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Methadone

Schedule III

  • Codeine (less than 90 mgs per dosage)
  • Ketamine
  • Steroids
  • Testosterone

Schedule IV

  • Xanax
  • Soma
  • Darvon
  • Ambien

Schedule V

  • Codeine (less than 200mg per 100mg of liquid)
  • Lyrica
  • Lomotil
  • Motofen

What are the Penalties for Drug Charges?

If you are caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana, and it is your first offense, you might only face a fine and maybe a driver’s license suspension.

But if you are caught with more than 20 grams of weed or any amount of higher scheduled drugs (like LSD, meth, or cocaine), you can face drug court, one or multiple felonies, heavy fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and more.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

If you do not know the laws inside and out, you can fall prey to a judge or prosecutor looking to make an example of someone.

This is where an experienced attorney can help you. Even before your charges make it to court, the arrest alone can create enormous stress and uncertainty as you worry about your family and future. With the right lawyer in your corner, you can get your drug charges reduced or maybe even dropped.

Possible Defenses Against Drug Charges

An attorney can help you create a strategy to defeat the charges brought against you or reduce the penalty from charges you’re facing. They may argue your rights were violated during the arrest, deny you knew you possessed drugs, or argue you were the victim of police entrapment.

Each case is unique but cooperating with your criminal defense attorney is the best option to fight drug charges in Florida.

Turn to a Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

Sarasota criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel understands the turmoil a drug charge can cause for you and those close to you. She has significant experience handling criminal drug cases in Sarasota and Manatee counties and knows how to craft defense strategies designed to get your charge dismissed or reduced.

Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A., today at (941) 363-7900 to learn more about your legal options and how she will protect your rights and fight your charge.

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