Drug possession charges in Florida come with serious penalties. If you are caught possessing a drug that a doctor did not prescribe, you could be charged with a felony.
Illegally possessing any type of drug in Florida except marijuana is a felony. The degree of felony and possible penalties depend on the type and amount of the drug you were found to possess. Other factors, such as any prior criminal convictions on your record, could increase your penalties.
Florida felony penalties
According to Florida law, a first-degree felony comes with penalties including a fine of up to $10,000 and 30 years in prison. A second-degree felony comes with the same possible fine and up to 15 years in prison, while a third-degree felony comes with a potential $5,000 fine and five years in prison.
Clearly, these penalties are quite serious. You could spend years or even decades in prison for simply possessing a drug. Other penalties could include probation, random drug testing or driver’s license suspension.
The problems with a felony conviction
Additionally, having a felony conviction on your record can negatively impact your entire life. Even after you complete any court ordered sentence, a felony record can cost you employment and educational opportunities and deny you certain rights and privileges.
Your friends or family may treat you differently, now believing you to be a criminal or a drug addict. The bottom line is that you cannot afford to be convicted of a drug possession charge and must be prepared to put on a strong defense.
Defending against drug possession charges
There are several potential defenses to a drug possession charge. You have many rights through each step of the criminal process, starting with your first encounter with the police. A violation of any of these rights could lead to a dismissal of your drug charge.
It is important to act quickly and have your case reviewed by a professional who can evaluate the details of your situation and learn what defenses could be available to you.