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Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Criminal Defense > Defenses, Penalties, and Legal Options After a FL Drug Arrest

Defenses, Penalties, and Legal Options After a FL Drug Arrest


Drug-related offenses are taken seriously by the Florida judicial system, and as a result, a drug arrest can have far-reaching consequences. After an arrest for drug possession, trafficking, or any other drug-related offense, connect with an attorney as soon as possible. A Clearwater criminal defense lawyer will walk you through your legal rights, share potential defense strategies with you, and answer your questions about possible penalties.

Common Drug Offenses, Defenses, and Consequences

With proper legal representation, you can work toward securing the best possible future for yourself. A lawyer can be of legal assistance if you or someone you care about is facing any of the following common drug offenses.

  • If you are in possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription, you could be charged with drug possession. How severe the charges will be depends on the type and quantity of drugs.
  • When an accusation involves the distribution, sale, or transportation of controlled substances, drug trafficking charges could follow.
  • Distribution intent. In situations where law enforcement has reason to believe you intended to sell or distribute drugs, you may face charges of possession with intent to distribute. This is an escalation of a basic possession charge. Large quantities of drugs and packaging materials for smaller dosage amounts often contribute to these charges.

As soon as you hire an attorney and share with them the details of your drug-related charge, they will begin the process of exploring potential defenses.

Defense strategies vary but could include Fourth Amendment protections if law enforcement violated your rights during the search and seizure process. Then, the evidence gathered by law enforcement may not be admissible. Or, if there is a way to demonstrate that you were unaware of the drugs, that may be the backbone of a solid defense.

Attorneys work hard to build a strong defense strategy tailored to the facts of the case. This is essential because the penalties for drug-related convictions in Florida can be severe, including substantial fines, probationary periods with strict conditions, incarceration, and a reduction in future housing and employment options because of a conviction on a person’s permanent record.

Legal Options and Alternative Sentencing

Your Clearwater criminal defense lawyer will discuss all of your available choices, including alternative sentencing options. For instance, your case may be eligible for drug courts, which focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. If so, you may be able to access a treatment program as an alternative to incarceration. And first-time offenders are sometimes eligible for diversion programs.

There may also be the possibility of having your charges reduced. With a skilled lawyer on your side, a negotiation with the prosecutor to reduce charges in exchange for cooperation or participation in treatment programs could be a path to a resolution.

Should you learn more about alternative sentencing options? After a drug arrest in Florida, you may have more resolution options than you realize, discuss the specifics of your case with the legal team at King Law Group to learn more. Schedule your free consultation today.

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