Lawyer Explains the Various Types of Florida Drug Offenses
The drug laws in Florida can become incredibly confusing for individuals who are not lawyers. If you were arrested by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department for a drug-related offense, it is important to educate yourself on both the types of crimes and their accompanying penalties in order to fully prepare to defend yourself. Stephen G. Cobb, a Board Certified Specialist in Florida criminal law, explains the differences between the multitudes of drug offenses that are criminalized in the state of Florida.
Possession occurs when you have illegal drugs either in your physical or constructive possession. Physical possession is when the drugs are on your person, such as in your hand or in your pocket. Constructive possession is when the drugs are not on you but are in an area that you have the ability and intent to control, such as your car or your bedroom. You must have knowledge that the drugs are there.
Possession of a controlled substance can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the type of substance and the amount. For example, possession of hydrocodone is a second-degree felony, while possession of the antidepressant Centroton is a first-degree misdemeanor. Possession for the vast majority of controlled substances is a second- or third-degree felony.
Possession of a controlled substance faces up to five years in Florida state prison. However, if the substance is marijuana or a smaller amount of certain controlled substances, the maximum penalty will be reduced to up to one year in Okaloosa County Jail.
Sale, Manufacture, Delivery, and/or Possession with Intent to Sell
Destin police officers can charge you with violating Section 893.13(1) of the Florida Statutes if you are caught selling, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing (with intent to sell) controlled substances. Though these activities are all very different and are comprised of different elements the Okaloosa County prosecutor must prove, they are grouped together because they are punished with the same level of severity.
Sale of a controlled substance occurs when (1) an individual sells drugs to a Destin undercover officer, or (2) an officer witnesses payment and then transfer of drugs from a purported seller to buyer. Sale is charged when an individual is caught red-handed.
Manufacturing a controlled substance can be charged if an individual is either caught (1) in the process of growing, cooking, or otherwise concocting a drug or (2) in possession of ingredients commonly used to manufacture a specific drug, like certain chemicals or paraphernalia.
Delivery involves the distribution or trafficking of a controlled substance. It can involve the hand-off of drugs from one person to another or the conveyance of drugs in Destin or across Florida state lines.
Finally, possession with intent to sell is possession of a controlled substance coupled with the intent to offer the drug for purchase as opposed to personal use. This type of possession is differentiated from simple possession because it is generally accompanied by large amounts and other indicia of sales, such as wads of cash, scales, Ziplock bags, and more. Like with simple possession, possession with intent to sell can be actual (physical) possession or constructive possession.
Sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to sell can be a first, second, or third-degree felony, as well as a first-degree misdemeanor, all depending on the type of controlled substance and total amount found on the individual. Potential penalties can be increased if certain aggravating factors are present, such as a history of felony drug convictions or the presence of a weapon.
Defend Against Drug Charges with a Well-Regarded and Successful Destin Criminal Defense Lawyer
A drug minor conviction has the ability to permanently mar your record and hold you back from supporting your family. Reputable and accomplished Destin drug defense lawyer Stephen G. Cobb has assisted Okaloosa County residents for the past twenty-five years with suppressing evidence, protecting constitutional rights, and fighting against unfair or false accusations. To schedule a free appointment at our Okaloosa County criminal defense law firm, contact Stephen G. Cobb today at (850) 423-0035.
For more information, please visit: https://cobblawfirm.com/drugs/.