Lakeland Drug Crimes Attorney
If you are charged with a drug offense, it is critical that you speak with an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Hiring an experienced attorney can make a difference and considerably affect the outcome of your case.
Drug crimes can range from either a misdemeanor marijuana charge to a more serious felony drug trafficking charge. Therefore, sentences range from fines and probation to life imprisonment. If you are adjudicated guilty of a drug crime, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of time. Attorney Heather Bryan can help you understand your specific charges and aggressively pursue all legal avenues in defending your charges.
We will begin by examining the legality of police actions. If the police acted unlawfully in their search, seizure, or arrest in your case, their actions may violate your Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights, and provide grounds for exclusion of evidence. When critical evidence is excluded, charges may be dismissed for lack of evidence. When evidence is weak, it is often possible to negotiate for much lower charges or offers, or it may be in your interest to take the evidence before a jury in a jury trial.
There are also programs designed for first-time offenders and for rehabilitation rather than punishment. Attorney Heather Bryan will walk you through the process of a drug charge and discuss which options are best for you. Regardless of which route is best, be it a negotiation or a trial, you need an aggressive attorney who will fight to protect your rights.
Common Drug Crimes
- Misdemeanor Possession of Cannabis (less than 20 grams) - The defendant had actual or constructive possession of the the controlled substance, the controlled substance was cannabis, and the defendant had knowledge of the presence of the controlled substance. Mere proximity, or closeness, to a controlled substance is not enough to establish control over the substance when the substance is not in a place over which the person has control, and is oftentimes a defense. This charge is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail or one year probation, and a $1,000 fine. A conviction also results in a driver's license suspension.
- Felony Possession of Cannabis (more than 20 grams) - This charge is essentially the same as the misdemeanor charge, except that the amount is more than 20 grams. The offense is classified as a third degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A conviction also results in a driver's license suspension.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Drug paraphernalia is defined as all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. Examples include baggies, needles, scales, pipes, rolling papers, spoons, roach clips, and bongs. A defendant can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and not a corresponding possession charge. This charge is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.
- Sale of Cannabis - The sale of cannabis and other substances listed in 893.13, occurs when the defendant sold the substance, the substance was the illicit substance, and the defendant knew of the presence of the substance. This charge is classified as a third degree felony. Selling of illicit substances are harshly punished in Florida and if found guilty, prison is likely. It is imperative that you have an attorney by your side. For these cases, an undercover police officer was probably used during the sale, and entrapment is likely part of the defense.