Drug Offenses are governed by Florida Statutes, Chapter 893. Drug Offenses can be charged as a misdemeanor, such as possession of marijuana less than twenty (20) grams and possession of paraphernalia. Paraphernalia offenses can be charged if one is in possession of an item used to consume or store illegal drugs. Drug misdemeanors are punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and/or one (1) year of probation.
FELONY DRUG CHARGES
More commonly, drug offenses are charged as felonies. This is the case when the substance an individual is charged with is considered a controlled substance. Controlled Substances offenses are commonly charged when an individual is charged with possession of a prescription drug that he or she does not have a prescription for, such as Xanax, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Percocet or Hydrocodone (among others). Controlled Substances also include cocaine, heroine, ecstasy and hash, among other illegal drugs.
PENALTIES FOR DRUG CHARGES
Third degree felonies are commonly charged for possession of small amounts of controlled substances. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. Controlled Substances can also be charged as second or even first degree felonies depending upon the amount of controlled substances one is alleged to have. Second degree felonies are punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and First degree felonies are punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison or life in prison if designated by statute. Probation and a criminal conviction are also concerns if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance.
DRIVER’S LICENSE IMPLICATIONS ATTACHED TO DRUG CHARGES
In addition to prison and probation, a conviction for many of these offenses also will have negative implications for your driver’s license, which can be suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) upon conviction.
It is extremely important to contact a qualified Florida Keys Criminal Law Attorney to discuss any potential defenses you may have to a charge of this nature. Both the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Key West Police Department aggressively pursue driving while license suspended cases. If you have been arrested for a drug offense, contact the experienced Florida Keys Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Office of Robertson & Hunter, LLP for a consultation regarding your drug charge today.