Are you facing drug production charges in Southwestern Florida? A Sarasota drug manufacturing lawyer and a custom defense could be what helps you avoid jail and other serious consequences.

Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900 for a free consultation if you were arrested on drug cultivation charges.

Drug Cultivation & Manufacturing in Sarasota

The production of illegal controlled substances is called drug cultivation for the purposes of possession and/or intent to produce or sell an illicit drug.

Florida prosecutes each drug cultivation, possession, and intent to produce/sell separately. Each carries its own penalties. If you are convicted on all charges and receive maximum sentences, you could spend many years behind bars.

It is difficult to defend yourself from drug cultivation and related charges. It is your right to be represented by an attorney of your choosing. While we respect public defenders, they have overwhelming caseloads and limited resources. You deserve the best defense possible to protect your life and your liberty.

How To Defend a Drug Production Charge in Sarasota

The state’s prosecutor needs to convince the jury that you are guilty. It must be beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they need to show that you were in possession of:

  • A controlled substance
  • Drug production equipment
  • Chemicals
  • Other production or cultivation materials

The prosecutor’s evidence must show that you had the intent to produce the drug in question. This includes proving intent to sell or distribute the drugs. Equipment and chemicals used to produce these drugs can be seized. These can be used as evidence of drug production in your trial.

Common Defenses for Drug Cultivation Charges

Attorney Valcarcel will examine the evidence, documentation, and testimony through the discovery process. She can counter this evidence and introduce new evidence that supports your case.

Each case is different, but common drug cultivation defenses include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Police error or misconduct
  • Compromised evidence
  • Lack of intent to manufacture
  • Lack of intent to distribute
  • Invalid lab results
  • Improper surveillance
  • Personal use
  • Authorization to possess materials

These are only a few of the ways your lawyer could defend your drug charge. Another defense may be more appropriate. Your lawyer will know more after examining the details of your case.

Plea Bargains

If the state has compelling evidence against you, you and your attorney can discuss the possibility of a plea deal. A plea agreement can be a a good option for people accused of drug crimes, particularly for first-time offenders. You could get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

In some instances, the court may allow you to enter a drug diversion program rather than going to prison or jail.

Drug Diversion Programs

If you are not a threat to society, you could enter a drug diversion program. This could be substance abuse classes or a recovery program. Successful completion could replace your jail or prison sentence. It might also be the catalyst for sobriety if you struggle with substance abuse.

Controlled Substance Schedules

Florida classifies controlled dangerous substances into five schedules. The schedules are based on the drug’s likelihood for abuse and if they are used in accepted medical practice. The penalties for producing, manufacturing, or cultivating Schedule I and II substances are extremely high. The more you are allegedly produced, the greater the consequence.

  • Schedule 1
    • Highly abused and highly addictive
    • No accepted medical use
    • Example: Heroin
  • Schedule 2
    • Highly abused and strong potential for addiction
    • Some accepted medical use
    • Example: Morphine
  • Schedule 3
    • Moderately abused and moderate risk for addiction
    • Some accepted medical use
    • Example: Vicodin
  • Schedule 4
    • Low abuse and low risk for addiction
    • Commonly accepted for medical use
    • Example: Lorazepam
  • Schedule 5
    • Low abuse potential
    • Accepted medical use
    • Example: Codeine

Penalties for a Sarasota Drug Cultivation Conviction

People convicted of drug charges have a long road ahead. If you are convicted, you spend years in prison, pay steep fines, and have a criminal conviction on your record.

Criminal Penalties

Every drug cultivation case is different, and the criminal penalties vary. Your specific sentence will also be affected by the type of drug, the amount of drug, and any prior convictions.

Most drug production and cultivation charges are felonies. It only takes a small number of drugs for the penalties to be harsh.

If you are convicted with the following, you could spend up to 15 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000:

  • Up to four grams of opiates (heroin, morphine)
  • Up to 14 grams of meth
  • As much as 28 grams of angel dust or PCP

Other Effects of a Drug Cultivation Conviction

State-imposed criminal penalties can be harsh, but they are only part of the price you pay for a drug cultivation conviction:

  • Damage to your reputation
  • Not qualifying for federal financial aid
  • Unable to find safe, affordable housing
  • Unable to find a good job
  • Trouble with immigration
  • Trouble with citizenship
  • Loss of professional licenses
  • Probation
  • House arrest
  • Random drug testing
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Loss of child visitation or custody

These are only a few of the ways your life could change. Don’t wait to find out what penalties await you. Get a criminal defense lawyer on your side today.

Florida Cannabis Laws

While medical cannabis is legal in Florida, growing or cultivating marijuana is not.

Excluding medical marijuana, Florida has strict laws on cannabis:

  • Possession of 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense. This is punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison – the higher the amount of weed in your possession, the greater the penalties.
  • Possession of 25 pounds of cannabis is a third-degree felony. This is punishable by a prison term of up to five years and a $5,000 fine.
  • Being in possession of cannabis plants is a serious offense. You could spend up to 30 years in prison and pay fines as high as $200,000.

Weed cultivation and drug production can ruin your life. It is important that you take action to protect your liberties.

Contact a Drug Lawyer in Sarasota

When your freedom is on the line from a potential drug cultivation conviction, you deserve a strong defense. Get help from an aggressive Sarasota drug manufacturing lawyer.

Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A., at (941) 363-7900 for a free consultation or use our contact form. Call today so we can get started on your defense strategy.