A controlled substance is an illegal drug defined by Federal and Florida law. According to the Florida Statute § 893.13, it is unlawful for any person to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Conviction for possession of a controlled substance charges can have serious penalties.
A person with a clean criminal record still may face possible jail time and large fees, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Being charged with possession of a controlled substance can seem daunting. However, there are options out there to create a sturdy defense for your case.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
A conviction for possession of a controlled substance can be life-altering. It's possible an alleged offender may face felony charges. Any person charged with possession of a controlled substance in Pensacola, should contact a practiced criminal defense attorney.
John Terrezza has years of experience of practicing criminal law in the Florida panhandle area. He knows the ins and outs of all Florida's controlled substances laws. John Terrezza exhausts all possible resources to evaluate a case. He is effective and efficient in formulating defenses.
Additionally, John Terrezza is active in the legal community. He is a proud member of several professional associations including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL).
John Terrezza represents clients throughout the Escambia County and Santa Rosa County including Pensacola, Navarre, Milton, and Gulf Breeze.
Do not wait another moment to fight for your rights. Call John Terrezza at (850) 764-5291 or submit an online contact form today for a consultation surrounding your case today.
Overview for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida
Florida Statute § 893.13 states that it is an illegal offense to be in possession of a controlled substance. Even trace amounts of a controlled substance can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. For the prosecution to convict an alleged offender they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she was in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance.
Actual possession of a controlled substance is when the illegal drug can be found on the alleged offender's physical body. If a person has the controlled substance in their hand, pocket, purse, etc. then that is considered actual possession.
Constructive possession is when the controlled substance is not within "ready reach," but is considered under the alleged offender's dominion or control. For instance, if the substance is hidden in a motor vehicle you could be considered in constructive possession.
Some controlled substances under Florida law include, but are not limited to:
Florida classifies narcotics and illegal drugs based on schedules. Each schedule outlines different classes of drugs based on their risk of abuse. Drug schedules in Florida range from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I being considered the most dangerous.
The penalties for possession of small quantities of controlled substances are dependent on the schedule of the controlled substance. Generally, unauthorized possession of a controlled substance is a third degree felony. A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. There are exceptions, depending on the substance, that can decrease the severity of the punishment.
If a person is found in unauthorized possession of a Schedule V controlled substance, the crime is punishable as a second degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. If you possess 20 grams or less of marijuana it is considered a first degree misdemeanor, despite the fact it is a Schedule I drug. This is punishable by a jail term up to 1 year and a fine of up to $1,000.
In certain volumes, possession of a controlled substance becomes a trafficking crime and the punishment can increase significantly. For instance, unauthorized possession of more than 25 pounds of cannabis, 28 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of heroin, 14 grams of hydrocodone, or 14 grams of methamphetamine, becomes a first degree felony trafficking charge.
Florida Drug Abuse and Prevention Statute | § 893.13 – Visit the website for Florida Legislation and read more about the specifics regarding controlled substances. See which drugs are defined under which Schedule, the penalties for possession or selling a controlled substance, and what can enhance possession penalties.
Have you been charged with possession of a controlled substance in the Florida panhandle? It's important you exercise your right to remain silent and retain legal representation immediately. Contact John Terrezza at Terrezza Law for an experienced criminal defense attorney.
John Terrezza has worked in Florida criminal law for years. He is skillful and will use every possible resource to try to get the best possible result for your case. Mr. Terrezza is passionate about criminal defense and fighting for his client's rights. In addition, John Terrezza values open communication with his clients. He will consult with you in every phase of your case so you are fully informed.
Additionally, John Terrezza is active in the Pensacola legal community. He serves as the 2018 President of the Society of the Criminal Defense Bar in the Pensacola Chapter of the Florida Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Terrezza Law accepts clients throughout the First Judicial Circuit of Florida including Milton, Navarre, and Gulf Breeze in Santa Rosa County, and Pensacola in Escambia County.
Call (850) 764-5291 and speak to John Terrezza about your charges today.
This article was last updated on September 24, 2018.