Drug crimes are among the crimes most harshly prosecuted by the state. In Florida, you can face felony charges for even the smallest amount of a controlled substance that is not marijuana. Even if you are caught with a minuscule quantity of a Schedule V controlled substance, which we describe here as being the mildest of all the controlled substances, you could face felony charges. Strict drug laws ensure that you may face mandatory minimum sentences, steep fines, and a lifetime of restrictions for simple drug possession if you are convicted of a felony offense. If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you must act quickly to defend your rights.
Defining Drug Possession in West Palm Beach
Unless you have the proper authorization because you are a healthcare provider or have a valid prescription, it is illegal to hold controlled substances including prescription medications. Suspicions of local law enforcement are raised even with a small amount of drugs; for example, possessing just 7 grams of oxycodone (Schedule II substance) can be prosecuted as a trafficking charge. Common drugs that are banned include:
- MDMA / Ecstasy
- Synthetic drugs
- Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax)
You could also face stiff penalties for possessing narcotics in Palm Beach, such as:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
In Florida, possession can be defined in either of two ways: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession implies that the controlled substance in question was allegedly found on your person. If you were stopped by police and patted down, and they allegedly discovered a suspicious substance on you, as if it were in your pocket, this is an example of actual possession. Constructive possession occurs when the drug is found in a location of which you are exclusively in control. A Florida state trooper may pull you over, allegedly discover heroin in the trunk of your car, and you can be charged with constructive possession. This can also include your home.
Drug Possession Penalties
Simple drug possession is a third-degree felony in Florida. This means that you could face up to five years in a state prison and a fine of up to $5,000, and/or five years of probation upon a conviction. Your license can also be suspended for up to two years. Misdemeanor drug possession, such as some instances of possessing marijuana, can lead to misdemeanor charges, such as up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, some possession cases are eligible for drug court. To fight your drug possession charges in Palm Beach County, look no further than attorney Brian Gabriel to develop a strong defense for your case. With over 25 years of dedication to fighting criminal charges, he can analyze all aspects of your case for the best possible outcome. Call the Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at 561-622-5575 or contact us for a free consultation.