Florida has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Even if you are caught with a small amount of drugs that fall into the lowest narcotic classification (Schedule V), you can still face fines, probation, and jail time.
However, the type and severity of punishment depend on whether you were charged with actual possession or constructive possession of drugs. And the best way to fully know the differences between the two and avoid jail time is to hire an experienced drug charge lawyer.
Active Vs. Constructive Possession in Florida
Florida law differentiates between two types of drug possession: active or constructive.
What is Active Possession?
Active possession means you had the drugs on you. Whether you intend to use, distribute, or hold them for a friend, you fall into this category if they are found on your person.
What is Constructive Possession?
Constructive possession means you have control over the substance, but it is not in your immediate possession. So, you might have some in your glove box or your house.
Will I Go to Jail for a Drug Charge?
Suppose you are caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana, possibly not. 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 one or multiple felonies.
Does it Matter if it’s My First Drug Charge?
Not always; you can still get charged with afelony and face up to 30 years in prison, depending on which drugs you are caught with and how much you have.
What is Drug Court?
The purpose of the Florida Drug Court program is to significantly reduce crime, provide better treatment outcomes, and produce better cost benefits than other criminal justice strategies.
Not only can it help avoid jail time in Florida, but it can also be a good mark on your record since it shows you made a mistake but took serious steps to rectify it.
Can Everyone Participate in Drug Court?
No, to qualify, the person must:
- Be charged with a nonviolent felony.
- Have a substance abuse problem
- Be amenable to treatment and commit to the treatment program
- Not have been charged with a violent crime, including murder, robbery, or sexual battery.
- Not have been charged with a sale of controlled substances.
- Have a prior felony conviction
However, suppose you do not meet the criteria above or rejected a previous offer for admission to a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment program. In that case, you can be denied entry into drug court for the current charge.
Find a Talented Drug Possession Lawyer Now
No matter how impossible your legal situation may feel, an experienced drug defense attorney can give you a chance to defend yourself and possibly even beat your drug possession charge.
Sarasota drug possession lawyer Erika Valcarcel fights for the best possible results for her clients. She has done so successfully countless times. To get a tireless legal ally with a winning track record on your side, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 229-8090 today.View All Blogs