Drug Possession Attorney in Clermont, Florida
If you have been charged with drug possession in Florida, you should understand the potential legal consequences and defense options that may be available to you. Florida has some of the toughest penalties for drug crimes, and drug possession is no exception.
It is imperative that you take the situation seriously if you have been arrested for drug possession. Our criminal defense attorney at Law Offices of D. D. Archer, PA, can help you determine the best defense strategy to secure the most favorable outcome possible in your case.
Located in Clermont, Florida, our law firm routinely handles drug possession and other drug-related cases throughout the state, including Lake, Polk, Sumter, and Seminole counties. Our results-driven and compassionate drug possession defense attorney always puts clients' best interests first to protect their rights, freedom, and future.
Drug Possession Laws
In Florida, it is illegal to manufacture, sell, deliver, and possess certain controlled substances. Florida law makes it a felony to possess most controlled substances specified in its statutes. The only exception is the possession of marijuana for which an individual has a valid prescription from a doctor.
Drug possession laws in Florida divide drugs and controlled substances into five categories based on their abuse potential, addictiveness, and medical value. Below is the list of the categories (schedules) along with examples of drugs:
Schedule I. These controlled substances and drugs have the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical value (heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, etc.).
Schedule II. These have a high potential for abuse and are accepted but severely restricted in medical use (morphine, oxycodone, codeine, opium, methadone, amphetamine, etc.).
Schedule III. These controlled substances and drugs have a lower potential for abuse and accepted medical value (anabolic steroids, testosterone, methandriol, trenbolone, etc.).
Schedule IV. These have a low potential for abuse and accepted medical value (clonazepam, lorazepam, tramadol, etc.).
Schedule V. These have the lowest potential for abuse and a widely accepted medical value (Lyrica, Lomotil, Robitussin, etc.).
The potential penalties you can face if convicted of drug possession depend on the schedule the drug falls into.
Elements of Drug Possession in Florida
In Florida, a drug possession charge consists of the three statutory elements:
Illegal nature. The first element is to prove that the controlled substance in your possession or its dosage was of illegal nature. When the illegal nature of the substance is not known, a crime lab may perform scientific analysis.
Knowledge of the drug. The second element is to prove that the defendant knew or should have reasonably known about the illegal nature of the drug or controlled substance.
Control of the drug. Finally, the third element requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant had actual control of the drug. This element is easier to prove when the defendant had the substance in their pockets, backpack, or anywhere else on their person.
You can face a drug possession conviction if the prosecution can prove the above-mentioned elements. It is paramount that you contact a criminal defense attorney in Clermont, Florida, to help you build a strong defense strategy and find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case to avoid a conviction or minimize potential penalties.
Actual vs. Construction Possession
When preparing a defense strategy to fight against drug possession charges, you need to understand the difference between actual and construction possession:
Actual possession. If you had physical contact and control of the controlled substance or drug, you were in actual possession of the substance/drug.
Constructive possession. If a controlled substance or drug was found in your general area but not on your person, you were in constructive possession of the substance/drug. However, the prosecution must still be able to prove that you had control over the substance or drug in your “constructive possession.”
Depending on the details of your case, it may still be possible to fight the charges, even if you were arrested for drug possession. Reach out to a loyal attorney before you give any statements to the police. You can exercise your right to remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself.
In Florida, drug possession may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony of a first, second, or third degree. Possible penalties for drug possession vary greatly depending on the type and schedule of the drug, the amount of the substance/drug in your possession, and whether you have prior convictions.
In addition to serving time behind bars, you may also be ordered to pay hefty fines and face probation, suspension of the driver’s license, and other criminal penalties. You may also deal with collateral consequences such as the loss of the right to possess firearms and the inability to secure housing, education, and employment.
Drug possession charges carry harsher punishments when the crime crosses state lines. When this happens, the crime will be prosecuted at the federal level.
Drug Possession Attorney Serving Clermont, Florida
Have you been charged with drug possession in Florida? Contact our drug possession defense attorney in Clermont, Florida, to help you avoid or mitigate the dire consequences of a conviction. Our attorney at Law Offices of D. D. Archer, PA, will advise you on your options for building the best line of defense for your unique situation. Contact us today to talk about your case and build the defense you need.