A drug crime conviction can earn you mandatory jail or prison time, large monetary fines, and a permanent criminal record.
Because the penalties for drug crimes in Florida are so harsh, you should not handle your case alone. The drug crime defense lawyers in Tampa at Goldman Wetzel provide aggressive legal representation and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have been arrested or charged with a drug crime, contact us today: 727-828-3900.
What Drugs Are Illegal in Tampa?
The statutes contain a very detailed list of which drugs are illegal in Florida. The statutes classify illegal substances into five discrete schedules.
- Schedule I: Highly addictive substances for which no medical use currently exists (e.g., heroin, LSD, GHB, etc.)
- Schedule II: Highly addictive substances, medical uses may exist (e.g., hydrocodone, morphine, cocaine, codeine, etc.)
- Schedule III: Less addictive substances, medical uses exist (e.g., barbiturates, anabolic steroids, etc.)
- Schedule IV: Mildly addictive substances, medical uses exist (e.g., valium, Xanax, soma, etc.)
- Schedule V: Mildly addictive substances, medical uses exist (narcotics and stimulants derived from buprenorphine and pyrovalerone)
Although the statutes list thousands of substances, the Goldman Wetzel team frequently works with clients charged with the possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Rohypnol, GHB, PCP, and oxycodone or other prescription painkillers.
Some of the most common drug crimes that police and prosecutors pursue today are related to prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers.
What Penalties Might I Face for a Drug Crime in Tampa?
The specific penalties you face will depend on the nature of the charges and the type and quantity of illegal substances you had in your possession, as laid out in Florida Statute § 893.13.
Below, we detail charges you might face for common drug crimes in Tampa.
If officers catch you in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana (or in possession of drug paraphernalia), you could spend a year in prison and pay a $1,000 fine. If you had a larger quantity, you may spend five years in prison and pay a $5,000 fine.
Possessing less than 28 grams of cocaine carries a five-year jail sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Drug Possession with Intent to Sell
Possession with intent to sell involves the intent to exchange an illegal substance for something of value. This crime carries a felony charge with a potential mandatory minimum prison sentence. The prosecutor can also pursue multiple charges that add additional penalties.
You will face manufacturing charges if you grew, prepared, or packaged for sale any illegal substance. Penalties for conviction on drug manufacturing charges start at five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
You will face trafficking charges if you committed any action related to the distribution of an illegal substance on a larger scale. The penalties depend on the type of substance and the amount. However, the mandatory minimum penalties for trafficking cocaine, certain prescription drugs, meth, GHB, and LSD go as high as 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. For marijuana, the minimum trafficking penalty is as high as 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Ultimately, the penalty for a drug crime conviction will depend on the charges; however, the state may require you to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and spend decades in jail. You might also face federal trafficking charges.
We may be able to convince the prosecution or court to dismiss your charges; aim to get us involved early, preferably before the state files charges.
How Can the Drug Crime Defense Lawyers at Goldman Wetzel Help Me?
The possibility of spending years in jail or shelling out hundreds of thousands in fines is a terrifying thought.
We understand how frightening and confusing it can be to face these charges. And because our team’s experience includes time spent working within the court system and the State Attorney’s office, we know how the prosecutors think and how they build their case against you.
In every case, we will ensure the protection of your legal rights throughout the process. We will obtain any relevant evidence in your case to ensure that the police did not violate your rights during your arrest or any subsequent investigation. We will discover and use any potential weakness in the prosecution’s case as leverage to negotiate on your behalf.
In many cases, we can convince the prosecutor not to file charges against you, or to consider a lesser charge. Or, if you qualify for a diversion or a drug pretrial intervention program, we can pursue that option on your behalf.
However, if we must take your case to court, we will build and present the strongest possible case in your defense. We may use any of the following defenses in your case:
Illegal Search and Seizure
If the police lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop or search you, any evidence they discover may be inadmissible in court.
Lack of Knowledge or Control
In many cases, the presence of others near the drugs can prove that you did not know about the drugs or did not have them in your possession or control.
Sometimes the police make an arrest simply because of the pressure to prosecute drug crimes. In that case, we can endeavor to establish reasonable doubt about whether they arrested the wrong person.
Whatever strategy we employ in your case, the Goldman Wetzel drug crime defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
Goldman Wetzel: Your Drug Crime Defense Lawyers in Tampa
At Goldman Wetzel, our team approach allows us to develop innovative strategies for your defense. Contact us as soon as possible, so that we can protect your rights and get to work building a case for your defense.
We offer a complimentary consultation and case review, so we can help you make an informed decision about your future. Contact Goldman Wetzel today to schedule an appointment: 727-828-3900.