Drug charges of any kind are a distinct threat to your future and your personal freedom. No matter the specific nature of the case against you, having a strong defense is crucial for your long-term interests. The first step in developing an effective DUI strategy is to have an understanding of the charges against you and the potential penalties you are facing.
Possession charges are some of the most common types of drug charges, but Florida law recognizes various different types of possession. The severity of the allegations against you depends on the type of drug, your criminal history and other factors. A guilty plea or a conviction is not your only option -- you have the right to fight back against the prosecution's case and pursue an optimal outcome to your situation.
Types of drug charges in Florida
Under Florida law, the possession of a controlled substance by someone who did not manufacture, sell or distribute it is a criminal offense. Most often, people facing possession charges likely had the drug for their own use. Depending on the nature of the individual situation, possession can be a felony offense.
The type of possession charge you may be facing depends on certain factors, including the amount of the drug, the type of controlled substance, where the drug was and whether you knew about it. The various levels of drug possession charges include:
- First-degree misdemeanor possession is for when an individual has up to 20 grams of marijuana in his or her possession. If you have four or more previous offenses, you may be subject to increased penalties.
- Third-degree felony possession is for when a person has more than 20 grams of marijuana or as much as 28 grams of cocaine. Other drugs may include ecstasy, LSD, heroin and other opiates.
- First-degree felony possession is for when a person has more than 25 pounds of marijuana or certain amounts of other drugs, including cocaine, heroin and various other opiates.
If convicted of any type of possession charge, you could face penalties that include jail time, mandatory substance abuse treatment, fines and more.
The defense options available to you
No matter how serious your case may seem, there are defense options available to you. Individuals facing drug offenses may find it beneficial to discuss their case with an experienced defense attorney in order to discover an appropriate strategy by which to confront drug charges and other types of criminal allegations.