New Port Richey Drug Crime Lawyer
While various drug crimes have been legalized in some states, Florida is not among them. Although there has been a relaxation of the laws as it pertains to medical marijuana, the law is still relatively strict against the recreational use of marijuana.
Drug crimes in Florida are charged based on what is being done with the drugs. Those convicted of simply possessing drugs face far fewer penalties than those convicted of manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possessing drugs with the intent to sell. Contact our experienced New Port Richey drug crime lawyer for more information or assistance.
How serious are the charges against me?
The severity of your charges will depend on several factors listed below.
- Type of drug – Drugs are separated into different levels. Drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl are charged as third-degree felonies, while drugs like marijuana are charged as first-degree misdemeanors. In some instances, even drugs within the same level can be treated differently. For instance, prosecutors and judges may view possession of fentanyl more seriously than possession of cocaine, even though they are in the same level according to the Florida Statutes.
- Amount of the drug – The total weight of the substance you possess will increase the severity of your charges. Many drugs can be subject to higher levels of charges based on the total weight of the drugs possessed. In some instances, the weight of the narcotic can result in a first-degree felony charge, which is punishable by up to thirty years in prison.
- Prior convictions – Past convictions related to drug trafficking, possession with intent, or other crimes involving selling or trafficking drugs will be used against you in future cases.
- Intent – Possessing drugs with the intent to sell or distribute them is viewed as a much more serious offense than simply possessing drugs for personal use. An experienced criminal defense attorney can present an argument which would lead the prosecutor to be unable to prove the intent to distribute, even if there is a large amount of the drugs and they are individually packaged.
Actual and Constructive Possession
In Florida, there are two types of possession: Actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession is the more commonly thought of scenario of drug possession, such as being caught with the drugs in your pocket. Constructive possession is when you don’t actually have the drugs on your person, but you know where they are and have control over them. A common example of constructive possession is being pulled over and having drugs found in your car. The two primary defenses to constructive possession of drugs are that the person did not know the drugs were there or that they did not have control over the drugs.
Fighting Drug Charges in New Port Richey
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, don’t just plead guilty. The conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life and can impair your future job or housing prospects. Call King Law Group today to discuss your situation in more detail and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.