Florida law enforcement and the state court system take drug crimes very seriously. Any offense related to controlled substances can result in criminal charges, incarceration, fines, and other severe consequences for the offender. This puts defendants in a difficult position as they navigate their drug cases.
Although your drug case may seem bleak, it is important to know that there is hope for you. With the help of a qualified criminal lawyer, you can make sure that your voice is heard in court. Remember, an accusation is not a conviction. You can still fight for what is right with the help of a criminal defense attorney.
Our team at the Law Office of Donald P. Day provides criminal attorney services for those facing drug charges. Whether you were arrested for drug trafficking, possession, or manufacturing, we have the resources to help.
For many years, our team at the Law Office of Donald P. Day has been representing individuals who have been accused of drug crimes. We have no patience for injustice in the criminal system, and all too frequently, our clients have been wrongly accused. No matter what your situation may be, we are passionate about ensuring that the justice system does not take advantage of your position. After a drug crime arrest, you can trust us to represent you.
Although we work tirelessly and are tenacious in the courtroom, you can trust us with your story. We know that drug crimes are usually complicated and involve a network of other people. You may have felt stuck or like you had no other choice. Whatever your situation may be, you can trust us with your personal information because we offer renowned legal services for these cases.
Although many people have seen dramatized depictions of drug crimes in the media, very few know details about these cases. If you or someone you love is facing drug-related charges, it is essential that you have the correct information about the process ahead.
A drug offense is any violation of state or federal laws surrounding the possession, distribution, manufacture, or use of illegal drugs. There are several controlled substances that are restricted or prohibited under Florida and federal laws. They include:
Although cannabis is legal in some states, Florida only allows its use for people who have a Medical Marijuana Use Authorization card. Even with a card, marijuana may not be distributed or shared with others. The same rules apply to prescription drugs. Although they are legal for personal use, the sale or distribution of them can result in drug charges.
If you have been arrested for a drug crime, it is important to understand that your punishment will depend on a variety of factors in your case. One factor is the drug classification of the substance you possess, distribute, or sell. The state of Florida puts all controlled dangerous substances (CDS) into “schedules” based on their danger, likelihood of abuse, and medical use.
Schedule 5 drugs have acceptable medical uses and an extremely low potential for dependence. However, the creation, distribution, and sale of these drugs cannot be done without proper medical licensing. Drug crimes involving a Schedule 5 drug usually receive the least severe punishments.
Schedule 5 drugs include:
Schedule 4 drugs have a low possibility of abuse and acceptable uses as medical treatments. Even still, you cannot distribute, manufacture, or sell these drugs without the proper licensing.
Schedule 4 drugs include:
Schedule 3 is the in-between category between low-abuse drugs with acceptable medical use and high-abuse drugs with no acceptable medical abuse. Drugs with a Schedule 3 classification have a high risk of psychological dependence but a low to moderate risk of physical dependence. There is some accepted medical use for these drugs.
Schedule 3 drugs include:
Schedule 2 drugs have a high potential for abuse. Although some medical treatments use these drugs, they are considered dangerous and can cause both psychological and physical dependence and harm.
Schedule 2 drugs include:
Schedule 1 drugs are considered to have the highest potential for abuse, high levels of danger, and no acceptable use in the medical community. Individuals facing drug charges with a Schedule 1 drug face the most serious consequences.
Schedule 1 drugs include:
Many states have removed marijuana from Schedule 1 status. Some have even legalized its recreational use for adults. However, it is still considered a dangerous drug in Florida.
Drug classification will affect your case and potential punishments. The court looks at many different factors when reviewing a drug case, and this is one of the factors that the judge and jury consider. Individuals who are arrested for manufacturing, distributing, selling, or using a Schedule 1 drug will face much more serious punishments than those who do the same thing with a Schedule 5 drug. This is because Schedule 1 drugs are considered dangerous and have a high potential for abuse, whereas Schedule 5 drugs are considered safe to use for medical treatments.
According to these laws, offenses involving Schedule 1 drugs pose a greater threat to the community than drugs with a Schedule 5 classification.
The punishment for your drug offense will depend on your unique situation. Just as with any other crime, the severity and mitigating factors will affect what type of punishment you face. For example, if you are carrying a lethal weapon while committing a drug crime, your potential punishments will be increased.
It is also important to note that drug crimes are considered “wobblers.” This means that, depending on the circumstances, they may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Schedule 5 offenses may be charged as first-degree misdemeanors, while Schedule 1 offenses can be considered second-degree felonies.
Potential punishments for drug offenses include:
Your individual punishment will depend on the type of offense, the type and amount of drug, your criminal record, and whether a weapon was involved.
Drug crimes are very serious. In some situations, people who are arrested for drug crimes face life in prison. With so much on the line, it is important that you fight for your freedom.
Even if you have been wrongly accused, the job of the state prosecutor is to make you look guilty. If you do not have an attorney to refute the prosecutor’s claims and build a case of your own, the jury will likely side with the prosecution, and you will face punishment.
In some drug crimes, the prosecution can minimize the charges or punishments if you can give information about a larger drug network. Our team can help you decide if this is the right path for you and what angle is best for your situation. These claims are confusing, and it is incredibly helpful to have an attorney on your side.
United States law states that, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be assigned to you. If you opt to have one assigned to you, it will be a public defender. These people work for the state and are usually overloaded with cases. They have very limited time to spend with each client and even less time to develop a strong case. Many people with drug crimes lose their cases when they rely on a public defender.
Hiring a private defense attorney means that you get to find someone with whom you connect. Private attorneys can accept or deny cases as they see fit, so you know that your attorney is not overloaded with too many cases at one time. This means that your private attorney has the time to build a strong argument and really prepare for your case. These factors make it much more likely that you will win your claim.
Although a public defender is better than no legal representation at all, you should not rely on one unless absolutely necessary. Instead, find a private defense attorney who has experience in cases like yours and can build a strong case for you.
Our team has many years of experience with drug crime defense. No matter what your situation may be, we can offer you legal services that give you the best chance of winning your claim. We are unparalleled in the state of Florida and give each of our clients highly individualized attention and care.
For more information about us, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Law Office of Donald P. Day.