Sarasota Drug Crime Lawyer
Drug crimes are some of the most frequently prosecuted charges in Florida. Drug cases can run the gamut from possession of a few grams of marijuana to trafficking in hundreds of pounds of cocaine or heroin. In many instances, there may be some tragic story behind why you were charged with a drug offense — maybe you suffer from an addiction or got involved with a drug operation out of financial desperation.
Or maybe you didn’t do anything and have been falsely accused based on misinformation that police obtained through a flawed investigation or from a confidential informant.
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
- 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
That’s why it’s important to consult an experienced Sarasota drug crimes lawyer when you’ve been arrested or charged with a drug crime — or even if you know you’re being investigated. A Sarasota drug lawyer can help at any stage of the criminal process, from the time you’re interviewed by police until your case is tried in a Sarasota or Manatee County courtroom.
Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel has the experience and skill to defend you when you’ve been charged with a drug offense. She brings a blend of compassion about your situation and zealous representation that’s based on more than a decade of experience trying criminal cases in local courts. Her experience includes working as a prosecutor in Sarasota and Manatee counties before starting her criminal defense practice, which means she has the ability to look at a drug case from all angles.
Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and to learn how Erika Valcarcel can fight for you.
Common Types of Florida Drug Charges
Florida has numerous statutes involving drug-related crimes, from minor possession offenses to major drug trafficking and everything in between. Offenses can be related to street drugs or even illegal actions involving otherwise legal prescription drugs.
Attorney Erika Valcarcel has extensive experience defending a variety of Florida drug charges. Just a few of the types of charges Erika is qualified to handle include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance — Drug possession is a felony offense in Florida, with penalties that increase depending on the type of drug and the amount involved. Possession of very large amounts of some drugs can result in a life sentence.
- 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, and if you’re caught with any amount of the substance, 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 — Sale of drugs is a serious felony offense in Florida, with penalties that 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.
Important Topics in Florida Drug Defense Cases
If you’ve been charged with a Florida drug crime, you probably have a lot of questions about your case and what might happen. During your free consultation, Erika Valcarcel can answer your questions, explain your charge, and discuss your legal options. She can also offer information about some common topics related to drug offenses, such as:
- Controlled Substance Schedules — Florida categorizes drugs on five different lists, known as controlled substances schedules, based on how dangerous a given drug is, its potential for abuse, and whether there is any accepted medical use for the drug. Schedule I and II contain the drugs that are considered the most dangerous and addictive to users and that have the least medical value. These are the drugs that are most often the subject of criminal prosecutions and include, among other drugs, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, LSD, and narcotic pain medicines.
- Drug Diversion Programs — Often, a judge or prosecutor may recognize that a better resolution to your case involves substance abuse classes or treatment rather than sending you to jail or prison. You may be allowed to enter a drug diversion program in lieu of a jail or prison sentence. Attorney Erika Valcarcel can present evidence and testimony on your behalf designed to show that you deserve leniency.
- Hiring a Sarasota Drug Defense Attorney — It’s important when you’re charged with a drug offense that you hire the right attorney to handle your case. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. offers tips for evaluating a Sarasota drug defense attorney and explains why Erika Valcarcel is the right lawyer for you.
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. A conviction can alter your life forever, particularly if your charge is a felony.
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. 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 what Erika Valcarcel will do to protect your rights and fight your charge.