There are more than 126,000 drug-related arrests in Florida each year, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida is also third in the nation for the most arrests for marijuana possession, reports the Marijuana Policy Project. If you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges, consult a drug charge defense lawyer in St. Petersburg at Goldman Wetzel by calling 727-828-3900. A solid defense can help you avoid prison time and exorbitant fees, not to mention a tarnished record.
Types of Drug Charges in Florida
There are numerous categories of drug charges, each with their respective statutes and penalties. Some controlled substances that merit charges in the state include cocaine, marijuana, crack, heroin, ecstasy and molly, GHB, Rohypnol, PCP, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs. Our firm is dedicated to helping those who have been accused of or indicted on drug charges, such as those listed below:
- Possession of drugs or paraphernalia
- Sale and distribution of drugs
- Drug trafficking and armed drug trafficking
- Manufacturing or cultivating of narcotics
- Prescription drug charges, e.g., fraudulent sale or unlawful possession (Oxycontin, Lortab, Demerol, etc.)
- Illegal use of a drug
- Doctor shopping
Penalties for Drug Charges in St. Petersburg
Possible penalties for drug charges depends on several factors including the amount of the controlled substance found, they type of drug and the motive of the accused. Below are a few examples of potential penalties for drug charges in St. Petersburg:
- Possession of marijuana – Possessing 20 grams or less or possessing paraphernalia means up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Possessing more than 20 grams raises the penalties to up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Possession of cocaine – Possessing 28 grams or less of cocaine means a punishment of up to five years of probation, five years’ imprisonment, and a $5,000 fine.
- Trafficking – Possession of a certain amount of controlled substance (e.g., more than 25 pounds of marijuana or more than 28 grams of cocaine) is considered drug trafficking and is considered a first-degree felony. Fines and imprisonment for trafficking depend upon the amount and type of the drug involved and carry mandatory minimum sentences. For example, if convicted of trafficking at least 28 grams but less than 200 grams of cocaine, the defendant faces a minimum sentence of three years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine.
All drug convictions also come with a mandatory one-year driver’s license revocation.
Defending against Drug Charges in St. Petersburg
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, it is highly advisable to seek a reputable defense attorney at Goldman Wetzel. Before you speak to investigators or take any action, you will need to talk to your attorney so that you will avoid saying anything that could damage your case.
We can help you by fighting to have charges reduced or dropped and by ensuring that your rights are upheld throughout the criminal justice proceedings. We will review your case and determine the best possible defense for your particular situation.
Examples of some of the defenses and tactics we may employ are listed below:
- Wrong identity
- The drugs were not yours
- Unlawful search and seizure (If, for instance, the search was insufficiently warranted and the evidence was obtained illegally, we will file to suppress the evidence.)
When applicable, we will try to get the state to agree to a diversionary program such as pretrial intervention or drug court. With a diversionary program, if you meet all the requirements, you can avoid formal charges and a tarnished record.
To begin working on your defense, contact Goldman Wetzel at 727-828-3900 today for a free consultation.