The Florida Drug Crimes Lawyer You Need to Fight Your Charges
Being charged with a drug crime in Florida can be a terrifying experience – and there is good reason to be afraid. Because in our state, even the most minor drug crimes come with serious penalties. You would probably expect to face high fines and lengthy prison sentences for growing, manufacturing, selling, or trafficking. Things that, by anyone’s standards, would change your life.
But what if you were just caught with a small amount of marijuana and charged with possession? You still face up to a year of jail time. And there’s another punishment most people do not even know about: an automatic 1-year license suspension, regardless of whether your drug offense involved an automobile.
That is more than someone gets for their first drunk driving violation, and it is just one of the little-known penalties associated with illegal drugs in our state.
To understand exactly what you are up against and effectively fight back, you need someone with the specific legal skill and experience to take on your case. That is where Palm Beach drug crimes attorney David W. Olson comes in. Mr. Olson has been representing people charged with state and federal drug charges in Florida for more than three decades, and he believes that everyone has the right to the best possible defense.
Moreover, he is on the legal committee of NORML, as well as a lifetime member of the organization. When he says that he believes the drug charges you are facing are unfair and that he wants to do everything he can to help, the proof is right there – he has been living it and advocating for change. Until that happens, though, all he can do is fight as hard as he can against your specific charges.
Luckily for you, in his career as a defense lawyer, Mr. Olson has been able to help countless people just like you to obtain a positive outcome in their case, frequently getting charges reduced – or even dropped or dismissed altogether.
How does he do this? It starts with knowledge.
Drug Crime Charges Require a Knowledgeable Palm Beach Defense Attorney
Our state has several hundred drugs on its list of controlled substances, divided into different schedules based on their potential for abuse, as well as any medicinal uses that they may have.
Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no medically accepted uses. Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse, but do have some severely restricted medical uses. Schedule III, IV, and V drugs are progressively less likely to lead to abuse and are currently used in medical treatment.
Some of the most commonly abused include substances on this list include:
- Cocaine – Schedule II
- Crack cocaine – Schedule II
- Crystal meth – Schedule II
- Fentanyl – Schedule II
- GHB – Schedule I
- Heroin – Schedule I
- Hydrocodone – Schedule II
- LSD – Schedule I
- Marijuana (including edible marijuana, medical marijuana from other states, and hash) – Schedule I
- MDMA (ecstasy or “Molly”) – Schedule I
- Morphine – Schedule II
- Opium – Schedule II
- Oxycodone – Schedule II
- “Special K” (Ketamine) – Schedule III
The actual penalties that you can face depends on the type and amount of drug involved as well as the nature of the alleged offense. David W. Olson possesses a clear understanding of every single drug crimes statute on the book, what prosecutors need to show to prove your guilt, and what he has to do to keep you from getting convicted.
Drug possession – (893.13)
To prove possession, a prosecutor must show several different things.
- That the substance in question is actually illegal.
- That you both knew (or should have known) about the illegal nature of the drug as well as the fact that it was in your possession.
- That you had “control” of the drug (i.e. that you were either carrying it or that you controlled the premises where it was found, such as if it was in your car or room).
In Florida, most instances of possession are charged as a third degree felony, with the possibility of up to $5,000 in fines and 5 years in prison. However, charges can range from a second degree misdemeanor with up to 60 days of incarceration to a second degree felony with potential penalties including a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in jail. Obviously, penalties and charges increase when someone has previously been convicted of an offense.
Growing or manufacturing illegal substances (893.13)
It is illegal to grow or manufacture illegal substances in Florida, and our state takes this very seriously.
Someone caught growing cannabis plants may face a prison sentence between 5 and 30 years, depending on the circumstances. Manufacturing other controlled substances is automatically prosecuted as a second degree felony with the potential of up to $10,000 in fines and 15 years of incarceration. And the law is not limited merely to the individual actually growing the plants or manufacturing the drugs. Other residents, landlords, and even guests can be charged. If you find yourself in this situation, speak with an experienced drug crimes attorney immediately.
Prescription drug fraud – (499.005)
In some cases, a perfectly innocent 2-liter soda bottle has been used as justification to pursue a possession of paraphernalia charge. You are not allowed to possess certain prescription drugs without a prescription. You are not allowed to possess a prescription pad or form that has not be legally signed by the medical practitioner named on the document. You are not allowed to misrepresent yourself as the person named on a valid description. You are not allowed to obtain a prescription through the use of other fraudulent means, such as “doctor shopping.” Penalties and charges can range from a first degree misdemeanor with the potential of a year of jail time and $1,000 in fines to a third degree felony with the possibility of five years in jail.
Possession of paraphernalia – (893.147)
Did you know that you can be charged simply for having rolling papers or a bong in Florida? In some cases, a perfectly innocent 2-liter soda bottle has been used as justification to pursue a possession of paraphernalia charge. It may seem silly, but it is a first degree misdemeanor, and you could be facing up to $1,000 in fines and a year in jail.
Possession with intent to sell (893.13)
This is a charge can range from a misdemeanor for certain prescription drugs to a third or second degree felony for substances like cannabis or cocaine, with potential jail time up to 5 and 15 years, respectively. How can simple possession turn into this charge? There is all kinds of “evidence” the prosecution can use to justify the bigger charge, including things like:
- The accused having a large amount of cash.
- Possession of baggies, scales, or other paraphernalia.
- Possession or presence of weapons.
- The type of drugs.
- The amount of drugs.
Selling drugs (893.13) and drug trafficking (893.135)
Selling drugs is a serious crime in Florida, but when you have over a certain amount in your possession, you get charged with something even worse – trafficking. The minimum penalties include a fine of $25,000 and three years in prison, but ultimately, you can face a fine of $750,000 and life in prison for large amounts of certain drugs.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully it gives you an overview of what you may be up against. At your free initial consultation, David W. Olson will go over the facts of your particular case in much greater detail. His main goal is to make sure you receive the best possible outcome, but he also works hard to help his clients understand everything about their charge – the penalties they face, what the prosecution needs to prove to convict, and the options that are potentially available to them, depending on how they want to proceed.
Want to Beat Your Charges? Reach Out to an Experienced Florida Drug Crimes Attorney Now
Being charged with a drug crime can leave you feeling terrified, defeated, and embarrassed. Maybe you have no idea what to do next. Or feel like there is nothing that you can do. Law enforcement officials want you to feel like no one can help you because it makes their job easier if you just agree to take whatever deal they give you.
Don’t give in to these feelings. Even in situations that seem hopeless, a skilled drug crimes lawyer can help. Learn more about how by getting in touch with David. W. Olson right now. Simply fill out our easy online case review form, then email David at David@dwolaw.com or call us at 561-833-8866.