It can be a scary experience when you face a drug charge in Lakeland. Florida carries some of the severest penalties for drug crimes. Whether you are charged with selling or possession, you need to consult an experienced Lakeland defense attorney. It is vital to get the best outcome for your legal matter.
Drug crimes in Florida are either classified as misdemeanors or felonies. These crimes include the following:
Many of these drug-related crimes can face enhanced penalties, depending on the location of the alleged offense. In Florida, there are hefty fines and steep prison terms for those convicted of drug crimes.
According to Florida Statutes Section 893.13(1)(a), “an individual may not sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.”
Anyone who violates this section faces a second- or third-degree felony. The punishments can be harsh depending on the specific type of controlled substance.
Federal law categorizes drugs into different “schedules.” In Florida, the penalties can vary based on these classifications. These classes include the following:
Schedule IV: Xanax and valium have a minimal risk of developing dependency. Many of these drugs are tied to prescription fraud crimes.
Schedule V: Lyrica, Parepectolin, and Robitussin contain some trace amounts of narcotics.
If you have violated Florida’s strict drug statute, you may be charged with a felony. Along with that, you will lose your freedom and rights. Anyone convicted of these offenses can face imprisonment from five to 15 years.
Florida’s stiff penalties for drug crimes are well-known in the country. For example, possession of cocaine or heroin is a third-degree felony. You can be charged with either actual or constructive possession in Florida.
When the drugs are found on you (such as in your pocket or purse), that is actual possession. Constructive possession happens when drugs are discovered in another location, not on your person. If you have drugs stored in your home, it is considered constructive possession.
There are a few ways to mount a legal defense for these charges. By questioning the validity of the arrest, many of these possession offenses can be challenged.
Under Florida Statutes Title XXXIII, Chapter 499.03 (1), an individual may not “possess any drugs that are harmful, toxic, potentially habit-forming, or brand new.”
However, there are a few exemptions to this statute, including:
If you violate this statute, you could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.
Trafficking charges are some of the most severe drug crimes in the state. Drug trafficking requires the “cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale” of controlled substances. There are minimum sentences for those convicted of drug trafficking. Many of these penalties include a $25,000 fine and three years in jail.
However, the exact minimum sentence will depend on the controlled substance. Along with that, you might face charges on a federal level. The federal government imposes harsher penalties for individuals involved with drug trafficking.
An attempt to possess and/or sell any drugs will result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge, a $5,000 fine, and prison time.
If you have a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. The punishment is a $5,000 fine with prison time of no more than five years. A second-degree misdemeanor includes limited prison time and a $500 fine.
Selling or possession of imitation controlled substances is a third-degree felony. Penalties for these crimes include a prison term of less than five years and a $5,000 fine.
Drug charges in Lakeland are complicated. Many circumstances can determine your charge and the resulting penalties. If you have been accused or charged with a Lakeland drug crime, you need to consult a reputable defense attorney. The legal process is complex. You need a Lakeland defense lawyer to protect your rights during this time.
A drug charge can significantly change your life. When these crimes occur in Florida, you face some of the strictest punishments in the United States. If convicted, you will pay high fines or spend some significant time in prison.
Robert Zlatkin has the experience of advocating for numerous clients facing these types of charges. He will ensure your rights are protected during the process and craft a defense to help reach a favorable outcome for you.
When it comes to defending his clients, Robert Zlatkin, Lakeland criminal defense attorney, works tirelessly to develop a defense for your case. If you face a charge due to a drug offense in Lakeland, make sure to contact the office. You can schedule a consultation to discuss your specific details of the case.