A Florida drug crime conviction comes with hefty fines and, in many cases, a mandatory jail or prison sentence. It will also leave you with a permanent criminal record that can interfere with many aspects of your life.

To protect your future, you need a compassionate legal team who will protect your rights and mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.

The drug crime defense lawyers in Sarasota at Goldman Wetzel understand how frightening and confusing this experience can be. We can help you understand your options and guide you in making the right choices for your future.

Contact us today for help: 941-405-5193.

What Drugs Are Illegal in Florida?

You can review Florida Statute § 893.03 to see a full list of illegal drugs in Florida. However, Florida law separates all controlled substances into five different groups, called schedules.

Schedule I: Highly addictive drugs with no accepted medical use, such as LSD, GHB, and heroin

Schedule II: Highly addictive drugs with an accepted but severely limited medical use, such as cocaine, morphine, hydrocodone, and codeine

Schedule III: Less addictive drugs with an accepted medical use, such as anabolic steroids and barbiturates

Schedule IV: Mildly addictive drugs with an accepted medical use, such as Soma (carisoprodol), Xanax (alprazolam), and valium (diazepam)

Schedule V: Drugs with an accepted medical use and low potential for abuse, such as stimulants and narcotics like pyrovalerone and buprenorphine

Some of the most common substances associated with Sarasota drug crimes include prescription drugs, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, GHB, Rohypnol, and PCP.

Will I Go to Jail for a Drug Crime Conviction in Sarasota?

Upon conviction for a drug crime, you can expect a hefty fine and a suspension of your driver’s license. You may also have to perform community service and go to rehab. And, in most cases, you will have either supervised probation or mandatory jail time — possibly both.

The specific penalties you face will vary based on the schedule, type, and quantity of the drug or controlled substance in question, and whether the charges pertain to drug possession, manufacture, or delivery. It will also depend on your past criminal record and whether any aggravating circumstances apply.

The Florida drug crime statutes detail the various offenses and penalty ranges:

Sarasota Drug Possession Penalties

Possession penalties differ, but we have listed a couple examples of penalties you might face:

Possession of any Schedule V drug can lead to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana (a Schedule I drug) may earn you a $1,000 fine and up to a year behind bars. You will face the same penalty for possession of drug paraphernalia. Quantities above 20 grams can earn you a $5,000 fine and as much as five years in prison.

Upon conviction for cocaine possession (less than 28 grams), you face a $5,000 fine and up to five years behind bars.

Sarasota Drug Possession with Intent to Sell Penalties

If the state charges you with possession with intent to sell, you are looking at thousands in fines and five or more years in prison.

Sarasota Drug Manufacturing Penalties

Drug manufacturing charges apply if you prepared, packaged for sale, or grew a drug or illegal substance. A conviction for this offense carries penalties of at least a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

Sarasota Drug Trafficking Penalties

Any activities related to the delivery or distribution of illegal substances will lead to trafficking charges (potentially state and federal), especially in large quantities. For example, the trafficking of LSD can earn you anything from a $10,000 fine and 30 years in jail to a $500,000 fine and a minimum prison term of 15 years.

You can face a minimum of 15 years in jail and anywhere between $10,000 and $250,000 in fines for trafficking cocaine.

How Can the Goldman Wetzel Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Help Me?

The particularly harsh nature of drug crimes charges and penalties mean that you need a lawyer on your side.

The Goldman Wetzel team of drug crime defense lawyers helps Sarasota clients negotiate this frightening and confusing process. We have a unique level of combined experience, including time spent in the Pinellas County justice system and the Florida State Attorney’s office.

This insider’s perspective allows us to develop a unique approach to criminal defense, especially for drug crimes. We know how the prosecutor will approach your case and we can adapt our defense strategies accordingly.

We focus first on protecting your rights and ensuring that neither the police nor the prosecutor takes advantage of you or sells you a deal that is detrimental to your future.

We will seek out every potential piece of evidence in your case, in search of potential violations of your legal rights or errors committed by the police. We will then use that information as leverage when negotiating with the prosecutor for a dismissal or reduction of the charges.

If the prosecutor has not yet filed charges, we can often convince them not to file. Or, if we can identify clear violations of your rights, we may successfully petition the court to dismiss the charges.

Some first-time offenders qualify for pretrial intervention. If that option is possible in your case, we can pursue it accordingly.

Ultimately, we may have to go to court to fight the charges. If so, we will prepare a robust defense and fight for you every step of the way.

What Drug Crime Defense Strategies Does Goldman Wetzel Use?

The Goldman Wetzel drug crime lawyers address each case based on its individual merits. However, some of the most common strategies we use to defend our clients include the following:

Mistaken Identity

In some cases, the police think you played a role in a crime, but are mistaken. We approach this scenario with the intent of establishing reasonable doubt of your involvement in the crime.

Knowledge and Control

Simply because the police found drugs near you does not mean they belonged to you. We approach this situation by establishing doubt that you knew about the drugs or had any control over them.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The police must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to conduct a traffic stop or search. If we can establish doubt that they had probable cause or reasonable suspicion, any evidence they discovered may not be admissible in court.

Call Goldman Wetzel for a FREE Consultation Today

Goldman Wetzel uses a unique team approach that helps us provide the most proactive, innovative representation possible. We will protect your rights and help you through every aspect of the process. Using our experience and insider’s perspective, we have what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation: 941-405-5193.

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