Drug Related Offenses
Defending Your Legal Rights in West Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida
Drug offenses are treated particularly harshly by Florida courts, whether they are violent or nonviolent offenses. Due to the U.S. War on Drugs, penalties for drug offenses are much more severe than those of comparable crimes. If you face charges for drug possession, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, distribution, or even possession of drug paraphernalia you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Drug Offenses in West Palm Beach
You may be charged with any of the following in relation to drug crimes in West Palm Beach:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession with Intent to Sell
- Drug Manufacturing
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Prescription Drug Charges
Florida Controlled Substances Breakdown
The Federal Government determines the classification of drugs into their respective groups or “schedules.” There are dozens of substances in each category that can be found in the Title 21 U.S.C. Controlled Substances Act. Additional substances can be found in Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes.
Schedules are arranged in a hierarchy, with Schedule V drugs considered to have the lowest potential for abuse and Schedule I drugs considered to have the highest abuse potential. In addition, Schedule V drugs have currently accepted medical uses in the United States, while those in Schedule I have none.
Despite being classified as a Schedule 1 drug, marijuana has been found to have medical value in the United States, and in Florida medicinal marijuana has been approved for patients with chronic and debilitating conditions. Marijuana is the only Schedule I substance that will not land you felony charges for possession, though it is still illegal to use the drug recreationally.
Under state and federal law, Schedule I substances have the highest abuse potential with no accepted medical use. Some common substances that fall in this category include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ecstasy (MDMA), marijuana (cannabis), and bath salts. Except for marijuana, no prescriptions may be written for any Schedule I substance.
Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse and are highly addictive. Well-known Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, and the amphetamine/ dextroamphetamine combo commonly known by the brand name Adderall. Schedule II drugs also have a currently accepted — but highly restricted — medical use.
Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids. They have a moderate to low capacity for abuse and some accepted medical uses.
Drugs with a low capacity for abuse and accepted medical use in the U.S. are included in Schedule IV. Sleep aid Ambien falls under this category.
These drugs have a very low potential for abuse relative to drugs in the previous category. They also have several medical uses in treatment. Abuse of these drugs may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence.
Severity of Drug Charges
The U.S. “War on Drugs” has led to exorbitant penalties for nonviolent drug offenses, which is why any criminal charge involving drugs is a uniquely serious case. Drug crimes in Florida often impose mandatory minimum sentences which could have you serving a specified length of time in jail or prison, in addition to other penalties if you are convicted. Such mandatory minimum sentences strip judges of their ability to use their discretion when issuing a sentence. The severity of punishment for drug crimes in Florida often outweighs the seriousness of the crime itself.
Why Hire a West Palm Drug Defense Attorney?
You face felony charges for merely possessing drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, or other illegal drugs besides marijuana. Simply caught with these drugs can lead to third degree felony charges that carry a potential prison sentence of up to 5 years and a $5000 fine. Depending on the circumstances of your drug case in West Palm Beach, penalties may be even worse. This is not a crime to take a “wait and see” approach, nor should you “shop around” for an attorney. Your future could take a very ugly turn if you do not work with a tough criminal defense attorney who handles misdemeanor and felony drug charges in Florida.
At the Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, we have helped hundreds of individuals accused of drug crimes fight for their rights. Attorney Brian Gabriel has worked as a criminal defense attorney throughout Florida for over 25 years and has ample experience defending misdemeanor and felony drug possession, juvenile drug possession, drug trafficking and distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacturing illicit substances and more. Call 561-622-5575 or contact us to discuss your case for free.