West Palm Beach Drug Crime Lawyer
Defending Charges of Drug Possession, Manufacture, Sale, and More
The government has taken an increasingly harsh stance on drug offenses by implementing tougher penalties for drug possession, manufacture, sale, distribution, and other drug-related crimes. If you are facing any type of drug charge, turn to an experienced West Palm Beach drug crime lawyer as soon as possible. In drug crime cases, early intervention is critical. Put our proven defender from the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., on your side.
“Greg went above and beyond to help me out and ultimately closed everything out promptly. I wouldn't look any further than Greg Rosenfeld when looking for a lawyer to represent me again.” – John F.
Key Elements Of Drug Possession In Florida
Florida law considers you to have possession of an illegal drug when you are exercising ownership or control over it. You could be in actual possession a drug or in constructive possession of it. Actual possession is where you have physical control over the drug and you know that you are possessing it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, is where you know about the drug and have the ability to exercise control over it.
According to Florida law, the penalties or consequences of drug possession depend mainly on the type of drug and the amount of it that you possess. Typically, the smaller the quantity of a drug that you possess, the less severe the consequences. Critically, the prosecutor – the person who attempts to convince a judge or jury that you are guilty of the crime – must show that you have knowledge that you are possessing an illegal controlled substance.
We can defend drug charges involving a wide range of controlled substances, such as:
- Prescription drugs
Drug Crime Penalties in Florida
The penalties for drug crimes vary depending on the quantity, type of drug, and one's criminal past. In most cases, you can expect a punishment of fines and/or jail time.
- Marijuana (Up to 20 Grams): first degree misdemeanor which carries a maximum 1-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine
- Marijuana (More Than 20 Grams): third degree felony which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine
- Heroin or Fentanyl (Up To 4 Grams): third degree felony which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine
- Cocaine (Up To 28 Grams): third degree felony which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine
- Ecstasy (Up To 10 Grams): third degree felony which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine
- Methamphetamine (Up To 14 Grams): third degree felony which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine
- Unlawful Chemicals (chemicals used to make controlled substances such as Meth, Ecstasy, GHB): second degree felony which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine
- Drug Paraphernalia (pipes, bongs, spoons, needles, scales): first degree misdemeanor which carries a maximum 1-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine
Certain first-time offenders may qualify for drug diversion programs that can allow you to avoid jail time and a criminal record if you complete the required conditions. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony of the third degree and you have not been convicted of more than one misdemeanor, Florida could offer you a pretrial diversion program or drug court which could allow you to avoid a hefty jail sentence. These programs provide counseling, education, supervision and medical and psychological treatment. In fact, completion of this program allows your charges to be dropped. A Florida drug lawyer can advise you as to whether a diversion program is applicable and suitable for your situation. Our West Palm Beach drug crime attorney can explain more when you contact us.
Contact our West Palm Beach drug crime lawyer today if you have been charged with a drug crime.
Florida Drug Offense Lawyer
Our law firm utilizes our cutting-edge insight and legal savvy to find creative defenses for each client. We have a well-rounded understanding of how drug crimes are investigated and prosecuted due to our diverse background in criminal defense.
In many drug cases, the drugs are the evidence. But how law enforcement officials obtain them can be subject to scrutiny. Our West Palm Beach drug crime attorney can evaluate whether law enforcement officials had probable cause to search you and whether a warrant was required.
If we find that evidence was obtained illegally, we will push to have it dismissed. This can significantly weaken a prosecutor's case because without key evidence, they have no basis to pursue the charges against you.
While the possible penalties for drug crimes in Florida can be steep, our drug crime attorney understands the different defenses that can be given depending on your specific case.
If you have been charged with drug possession in West Palm Beach, some of the possible defenses include:
- Unlawful search and seizure: Your constitutional rights protect you from illegal searches and seizures. For instance, an officer typically has to have probable cause to conclude that you are violating the law in order to pull you over. If the officer pulls you over and wants to search your car without your consent, the officer must have probable cause that you are possessing an illegal drug. Otherwise, the search could be construed as unconstitutional. If this happens, then your case could be tossed.
Also, law enforcement typically has to be in possession of a valid search warrant to enter your home without your consent. Without this warrant, law enforcement’s search of your home could be challenged. Keep in mind that a prosecutor might be capable of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed an illegal drug; however, an illegal search and seizure generally makes any evidence of this inadmissible. If this happens, the prosecutor might no longer have what they need to land a conviction.
- Lack of knowledge: You could dispute possessing the drug. Critically, there might be no direct evidence that you possessed it. What if the drug belonged to someone else? It could have been found in a place that you did not have access to or that you had shared access to. This issue could cause doubt to enter the minds of the jury.
Notably, the prosecutor has the burden of proving that you knew that you possessed the drug. Maybe you didn’t know. For example, suppose that you do not know about a drug which someone leaves in your car the night before. If law enforcement finds this drug and arrests you for possession, you could argue that you did not knowingly possess it. If there is a question as to your knowledge of possessing an illegal drug, then you could be found not guilty.
- Entrapment by police: Entrapment is where law enforcement causes you to commit a crime. For example, an undercover police officer pressures or persuades you into possessing an illegal drug. Keep in mind that if an undercover agent tells you that possessing a drug is not illegal, and you purchase the illegal drug from that undercover agent as a result, then according to Florida law, you have been entrapped.
- Prescription from a medical professional: Possession of a controlled substance is not illegal if you lawfully obtain it from your pharmacist or doctor. Notably, this not only covers situations where the prescription is for you as the patient, but it also includes situations where you lawfully obtain the controlled substance to deliver to someone else such as your spouse, children or parents. Generally, anyone who is authorized verbally or in writing by the prescription holder to hold a prescription on their behalf has committed no crime under Florida law. However, this only applies to those prescription drugs that are lawful in Florida.
- You Only Temporarily Possess The Drug: In Florida, the prosecutor has to show that you either actually possessed the drug or had constructive possession of the drug. Particularly, the evidence has to show that you consciously and substantially possessed the drug rather than did so in an involuntary or superficial way. Some Florida courts have interpreted possession to mean that you intended to possess the drug. If the prosecutor cannot prove that you did more than temporarily possess the drug, such as by accident, then the case against you should get thrown out.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in West Palm Beach, some of the possible defenses include:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Entrapment by police
- Controlled substance was for personal use and not for the purpose of distribution
When you are charged, it is important that you understand your rights. We can help fight for a lowered or dismissed sentence. Call us at (561) 902-1122 today!
Drug Possession Attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida
Whether you have been arrested or are under investigation for a drug crime, it is important that you work with a West Palm Beach drug crime attorney early on. We are on standby 24/7 to discuss your charges during your free consultation.