How Many Years do You Get for Drug Possession in Florida?
Penalties for drug possession can vary depending on the type of drug, whether there is intent to sell, or whether you have any priors. Drug possession is considered an offense by someone who did not manufacture, distribute, or sell the controlled substance. This distinction is important as a charge of “drug possession with the intent to sell” can hold different and much harsher penalties.
If you are trying to determine the amount of jail or prison time that you could get for the possession of drugs in the state of Florida, you will have to first understand the different categories of charges. There are three main categories of drug possession charges as explained below:
First Degree Misdemeanor Possession
In most cases possession of a controlled substance in the state of Florida will result in a felony charge. A misdemeanor, however, is possible when an individual is charged with the possession of marijuana, unless it is legally obtained for medical use. This applies to possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis.
Drug Possession Charges: Up to 1 yr. in jail, plus court costs; those with at least 4 prior convictions may be sentenced to 1 yr. in jail, mandatory treatment, or home detention of up to 1 yr.
Third Degree Felony Possession
As previously mentioned, most cases of possession of a controlled substance will result in a felony. This can also include the illegal possession of cannabis/marijuana – when not prescribed for medical purposes – if the amount in possession exceeds 20 grams.
You will also get a third degree felony for possession of up to 28 grams of cocaine, up to 10 grams of MDMA/ecstasy, up to 1 gram of LSD, or up to 4 grams of heroin/opiate.
Drug Possession Charges: Up to 5 years in prison.
First Degree Felony Possession
While many cases of drug possession in larger quantities may result in an “intent to sell” charge, if you are only charged with possession you may still get a first degree felony possession charge. This is dependent on the amount of the controlled substance that you have on you. The amounts are as follows:
More than 25 lbs. marijuana; more than 28 g cocaine; more than 10 g MDMA/ecstasy; more than 1 g LSD; more than 4 g heroin/opiate.
Drug Possession Charges: Up to 30 yrs. in prison and up to $250,000 in fines; mandatory minimums apply (depending on type of drug and amounts).
Keep in mind that any prior charges could greatly impact your sentencing and how many years you could get.
Drug Possession Defenses
If you or someone you know has been charged, or may be charged, with the possession of a controlled substance it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can greatly improve your odds of reducing sentencing as well as possibly getting the charges dropped.
When it comes to a possession charge there are a few things that the prosecutor will have to prove in order to get the charges to stick:
- Proof that the seized material is a controlled substance.
- The defendant’s knowledge of the presence of the controlled substance and of its illegal nature.
- That the defendant had control over the location and presence of the illegal substance.
Common defenses for drug possession would attack the elements listed above. Whether the defendant had knowledge of the control substance or even that it was a controlled substance, whether the defendant had a valid prescription, whether entrapment was involved, or whether there was lawful use of search and seizure.
Get the Assistance You Need for Your Case in New Port Richey, Florida
Your criminal defense attorney will be able to help you put together the best defense strategy in order to give you the best chance possible.
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