Possession, distribution, manufacturing, and cultivation are all drug crimes that carry severe penalties in Florida. Our Tampa drug crime lawyers use 40+ years of combined experience to combat these.
Over 40 Years of Combined Legal Experience
Florida has some of the harshest penalties in the nation for drug offenders. The state's mandatory minimum sentences are harsh. Even carrying medication like hydrocodone without proof of a valid prescription could warrant a minimum three-year sentence.
Drug crimes may include possession, manufacturing, or distribution of controlled substances classified as having a potential for abuse.
These substances can include:
Our Tampa Drug Crime Firm Can Fight for You
Because drug crimes are such serious offenses, the most important step you can take is to seek counsel from a skilled Tampa drug crime attorney. When you come to our legal team at Thomas & Paulk, you can rest assured that we have the experience and ability to help.
We are an effective drug crime defense team because:
- We have over four decades of combined experience.
- We have handled over 7,000 criminal cases.
- We have experience as former prosecutors.
- We provide individualized attention to every client.
- We are prepared, around the clock, to fight for your rights.
If you are facing drug charges, get help immediately. Our Tampa drug crime defense lawyers are here to defend your interests.
We have been representing clients in Florida since 2001, and our results have earned us attention from peers to media outlets on the local and national level. As aggressive litigators, we know what it takes to defend our clients against drug crime convictions. If we take your case, you can trust that we will do everything possible to see that your future is protected.
When your future is complicated by drug charges and your freedom is on the line, you need a strong and skilled team in your corner to protect your constitutional rights. At Thomas & Paulk, our Tampa drug crime defense attorneys have what it takes. We're ready to help.
Common Tampa, Florida Drug Crimes
In Florida, drug crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the case. The type of controlled substance, the amount involved, and the type of offense itself may all influence the severity of drug charges in Tampa and across Florida.
The following are examples of drug crimes:
- Possession - The penalties for drug possession will vary depending on the amount and the type of controlled substance involved. Less than 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor, for example, punishable by a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Possession with Intent - Should the defendant have enough of a drug in their possession, as well as paraphernalia or materials, the law enforcement may deem they were only in possession of the drugs because they intended to sell or distribute it.
- Cultivation - The growing of illegal drugs and controlled substances. It is considered a criminal act of cultivation to have a "grow house" where marijuana is produced. This is known legally as the "manufacture of cannabis" and is a third-degree felony.
- Manufacturing - Similar to cultivation, manufacturing refers to the illegal production of drugs; however, this is done through heat and chemicals. Producing cocaine or having a meth lab would be considered manufacturing drugs.
- Trafficking- Trafficking is the selling, purchasing, manufacturing, and delivering of drugs. This could be local, across state lines, or even internationally. Penalties can be severe and may range into the hundreds of thousands of fines, as well as prison time.
In recent years, Florida has become increasingly harsh with both drug crime laws and penalties. Any person who is convicted of a drug crime can expect to spend time in jail, pay substantial fines, and attend mandatory drug and alcohol treatment. Due to the severity of the legal consequences involved, it is always advisable that a person seek out the services of a knowledgeable Tampa drug crime defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Felony & Misdemeanor Drug Charges in Tampa
Drug-related crimes involving controlled substances named under Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes, may be charged as felonies of the second or third degree or misdemeanors of the first degree. The type of drug, amount, and act will all influence potential penalties.
Under Section 893.13 of the Florida Statutes, if a person sells, manufactures, delivers, or possesses with the intent to sell certain controlled substances listed in Sec. 893.03, this is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Generally speaking, the above prohibited acts can lead to third-degree or second-degree felony charges or first-degree misdemeanor charges depending on the type of drug involved.
Schedule V Misdemeanor Drug Charges
Schedule V drugs under Sec. 893.03(5) are substances, compounds, mixtures, or preparations that have a “low potential for abuse” and accepted medical uses.
Controlled substances listed in Sec. 893.03(5) include:
Offenses involving these substances may be charged as misdemeanors, depending on the amount involved and the alleged act itself. If charged as first-degree misdemeanors, these drug crimes are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine in Florida.
Florida Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Florida has some of the harshest mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. The courts must follow these rules, resulting in harsh jail sentences even if a person has no prior criminal history. Mandatory minimums require someone to serve a certain amount of time in jail, even if the judge overseeing a case doesn’t believe they deserve such a sentence.
Recently, Florida lawmakers have sought to modify these mandatory minimums. They’ve acknowledged that the harsh laws can result in low-level offenders spending excessive time in the state’s prison system, one of the nation’s largest. The laws for mandatory minimums for drug crimes came when the state was trying to be tough on drug lords. Yet, many legal experts assert that the laws resulted in minor offenders receiving severe sentences.
If you’re facing a drug charge that falls under current Florida mandatory minimum rules, you need the help of our Tampa drug crime lawyers. While nothing can guarantee the outcome of your particular case, experienced counsel can make all the difference in the final result.
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