From possession of a few grams of marijuana to trafficking hundreds of pounds of cocaine, drug crimes are some of the most frequently prosecuted charges in Florida. They are also frequently misunderstood.

There may be a valid reason why you were charged with a drug offense. You might struggle with substance abuse or got involved with a drug operation out of financial desperation. Maybe you did nothing wrong and were falsely accused.

Regardless of how your drug charges arose, you will need an aggressive and compassionate drug offense lawyer to protect you from the damage of a serious conviction.

Drug Crime Charges in Florida

Florida has numerous statutes involving drug crimes, and lists five different drug categories through their controlled substance schedules. The exact charges you face for a drug offense depend on the schedule of drug, the amount of drug, and the type of offense.
Attorney Erika Valcarcel has extensive experience defending a variety of Florida drug charges, including:

Possession of Narcotics or a Controlled Substance

Drug possession is a felony offense in Florida, with penalties that increase depending on the schedule of drug and the amount involved. Depending on the amount and type of drug you are accused of possessing, you could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison. Even first-time drug possession charges can have lifelong consequences.

Marijuana Charges

Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail. However, every other marijuana offense in Florida is a felony crime that can result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Prescription Drug Charges

Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem both in Florida and nationwide. Florida has adopted strict laws involving prescription drug abuse and trafficking. You face harsh penalties if convicted of illegally possessing or trafficking prescription drugs.

Carfentanil Charges

Carfentanil is a deadly synthetic opioid. If you’re caught with any amount of Carfentanil, you face serious statutory and collateral penalties.

Fentanyl Charges

Fentanyl crimes can have a great effect on your life if you’re found guilty of an offense that involves the substance. To avoid the harsh statutory and collateral consequences of a conviction, call a Sarasota drug lawyer today.

Heroin Charges

Heroin-related crimes are taken very seriously in Florida. They are often prosecuted harshly, so it’s best to have an experienced Sarasota drug attorney on your side if you’re facing offenses related to this substance.

Sale of a Controlled Substance

Selling drugs is a serious felony offense in Florida. Possible penalties increase depending on the type of drug, the amount involved, and where the sale occurred. The penalties are more serious if the sale occurred near a school, daycare, church, park, or convenience store.

Drug Trafficking

Florida treats drug trafficking as a very serious felony crime. If you’re convicted, you face a mandatory sentence of anywhere from 3 years to life in prison, depending on the type of drug and the amount involved.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Florida

When you’re convicted of a drug offense in Florida, you face harsh penalties and other long-term effects. The possible consequences you may experience include:

  • A jail or prison sentence
  • Expensive fines and court fees
  • House arrest
  • Probation
  • A requirement to complete drug abuse treatment
  • Random drug testing
  • Loss of your driver’s license
  • Loss of eligibility for federal financial aid to pay for college or university classes
  • A permanent criminal record and the stigma of being a convicted drug offender
  • Trouble finding or keeping a job
  • Trouble renting a place to live because of your criminal history
  • Loss or denial of a professional license to work as a pharmacist, nurse, doctor, lawyer, or other licensed professional
  • Loss of custody of your children or your visitation rights
  • Loss of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, and/or deportation if you’re not a U.S. citizen

Defenses Against a Florida Drug Crime Charge

Erika Valcarcel will consider all your possible options and determine the most effective defense for your drug crime case. Each type of drug offense has distinct elements, and putting up a good defense requires your attorney to know those elements well and understand the kinds of evidence and arguments that will work effectively.

For example, Erika may be able to prove that the substance did not belong to you. Perhaps an acquaintance snuck the drugs onto your person or into your vehicle, or the police planted it on you. Another method of getting your charges wiped out involves civil rights. For instance, if drugs were found as a result of an unlawful stop or search, the charges can be thrown out.

During your free consultation, Erika can answer your questions, explain your charges, and discuss your legal options. You may be allowed to enter a drug diversion program in lieu of a jail or prison sentence, or get your case dismissed entirely. Whichever strategy is used, hiring an attorney is essential to figure out the next steps and build a robust defense against your drug charges.

"Valcarcel is the best you will find."

Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. is the best you will find. Erika Valcarcel is completely honest and straightforward. She took a huge burden off my shoulders many times during difficult periods of my life knowing that she was doing everything that that could and should be done. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice has always been right on the mark. She is worth every penny of the fee she charges. You cannot go wrong securing her services.

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Hiring the Right Sarasota Drug Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for drug charges in Sarasota, you need to hire a drug defense attorney immediately to protect your rights. Drug crimes are serious offenses that can carry substantial prison time and fines with a conviction.

Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. will work hard to protect your rights, conduct an extensive investigation, and implement a strategy to present an effective defense in your case.

What to Look for in a Drug Crimes Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a Florida drug crime, you need an attorney who has extensive experience representing similar drug cases in Sarasota. Your lawyer should also be compassionate, listening to your side of the story—without sugar-coating the reality of the situation.

Erika Valcarcel will give you an upfront evaluation of your drug crime charges and help explain the Sarasota criminal justice system fully. That way, you can feel informed and empowered about your defense.

When speaking with a lawyer, you should feel comfortable engaging in two-way communication. You should be able to tell them your story and feel that they are taking in every word. After all, it is the details that often make for a compelling defense. After you have explained your situation, you should ask as many questions as possible. Important questions to pose include, but are not limited to:

  • How much experience do you have handling cases that are similar to mine?
  • How often do you negotiate plea agreements or request a lesser charge?
  • How much of my case will be handled by you?
  • Can you provide references from the clients you have assisted?
  • What are your fees and how are they calculated? Are there any payment plans?

Contact a Sarasota Drug Defense Attorney

A drug charge can have a profound effect on your life. Even an arrest can create enormous stress and uncertainty as you worry about your family and your future. Sarasota criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel understands the turmoil that a drug charge can cause for you and those close to you. That’s why she’s dedicated to fighting on your behalf to ensure that your side of the story is heard in court and that you get a fair and just result in your drug crimes case.

Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900 to learn more about your legal options and what Erika Valcarcel can do to protect your rights.