Facing a drug charge can be daunting. Being convicted of a drug charge is life-changing. In Florida, possession with intent to distribute is a serious crime that is subject to heavy penalties. Not only do you face prison time and fines, but as a convicted felon, you lose your right to vote and own a firearm. You may also find difficulties in other aspects of life, such as obtaining a mortgage and securing employment. If you have been arrested for possession with intent to distribute, you need our team of skilled defense lawyers at Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law, to build a strong case for you. As former prosecutors, we can anticipate the state’s case and create a solid strategy to defend you. For experienced criminal defense legal assistance following Florida drug charges, contact Moses and Rooth. Possession with Intent to Distribute Under Florida law, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The severity of the drug charge, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor, depends on how Florida’s drug schedule classifies the substance. Controlled Substance Schedules Controlled substances are categorized into schedules based on their potential for abuse (i.e. physical or psychological dependence) and accepted medical use. The schedules organize them by level of severity from Schedule I substances, having the highest potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical purpose, to Schedule V substances, being the least addictive and commonly used for medical treatment. Here are some examples: Schedule I includes heroin, GHB, ecstasy or Molly, and LSD; Schedule II includes methamphetamine, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), Adderall, and cocaine; Schedule III includes anabolic steroids, suboxone, and Vicodin; Schedule IV includes Xanax, Valium, Tramadol, and Ambien; and Schedule V includes Tylenol with codeine. Possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule I substance is a third-degree felony, while the same drug charge involving a Schedule II substance is a second-degree felony. Drug sales of a Schedule V substance typically results in misdemeanor charges. How to Prove a Possession with Intent to Distribute Charge To be successful on charges of possession with intent to distribute, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: You had possession of the controlled substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the substance; The substance is listed under Florida’s drug schedule; and You had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance. Your entire case will be dismissed if the prosecution fails to prove even one element of the crime. Possession Possession can be actual or constructive. You have actual possession over the substance if it is found on you or is somewhere that you can reach and you have control over that place. Constructive possession is where the substance is not physically on you, but it is in a place you have control over and you know or should know the substance is there. Intent to sell When determining if you have the intent to sell, the prosecution will look at a multitude of factors, such as the following: Admissions by you or your associates of the intent to sell the drugs; Quantity of the substance found; Packaging of the substance; Presence of sales paraphernalia, such as scales, baggies, and rolling papers; Large amounts of cash; Presence of weapons; and Records of sales or debts owed. It is common for the prosecution to take a simple possession charge and elevate it to a possession with intent to distribute charge by pointing to any one of the factors listed above. Penalties Drug charges in Florida are serious crimes that come with hefty jail time and fines. For a first-degree felony possession with intent to distribute charge, you face up to 30 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. A second-degree felony charge also carries a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in jail. For a third-degree felony charge, you could spend 5 years in jail and be fined $5,000. Misdemeanors carry possible jail time of 60 days to a year and a fine of $500-$1,000. The level of a possession with intent to distribute charge depends on four factors: The type and amount of substance, The location of the substance’s distribution, Whether the distribution involved a minor, and The defendant’s criminal history. These factors can also support elevating felony possession charges in Florida to possession with intent to distribute charges. Type and Amount of Substance The penalty for possessing a controlled substance is impacted by the type and amount of substance involved in the crime. When determining if your Florida drug charge is a felony or misdemeanor, we look at how it is categorized in the Florida drug schedule discussed above. The quantity of drugs police found is equally important. Possessing even a small amount of a Schedule I substance (such as ecstasy) could result in a third-degree felony charge. Location of the Distribution The location of the alleged drug sale could elevate a charge. Florida law prohibits the possession and distribution of a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the following places: Childcare facilities; Public or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools between 6 AM and 12 AM; Public or private post-secondary educational institutions; State, county, or municipal parks, community centers, or public recreational facilities; Places of worship; and Public housing. The penalty also varies based on the location of the drug distribution. For example, Florida imposes a minimum jail sentence of three years for selling heroin within 1,000 feet of a public elementary school, but that required jail time does not apply if the sale took place near a church. Involving a Minor If the defendant is over 18 and either sells drugs to a minor or uses a minor to facilitate a sale, the defendant will be charged with a felony. The degree varies based on the type of drug, but can result in a 15 to 30 year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine. Criminal History Florida imposes harsher penalties for repeat offenders. A...Read More
Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers
Defending Criminal Cases from Misdemeanors to Serious Felonies in Florida
We get it. You never thought you’d be here. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is something most people don’t think they’ll have to experience in their lifetimes. But we’re here for you, we’re ready to fight, and we understand what you’re going through.
Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it’s important to take the charges seriously. Even a seemingly simple charge like a DUI, reckless driving, or petit theft can have a major impact on your life. We can help.
The attorneys at Moses & Rooth have both worked on the other side of the fence. As prosecuting attorneys, we learned effective strategies for defending our clients. There’s nothing we aren’t prepared for when it comes to defending your rights.
We have over 36 years of combined legal trial experience – handling some of the toughest cases in Central Florida. We are the Firm to call when your future is at stake. Get a risk free consultation today.
Why Choose Us As Your Criminal Defense Lawyers?
How Can We Help?
Moses & Rooth has the experience and skill to fight a variety of criminal charges. Whatever you’re facing, we’re ready to help. Here are just some of the cases we handle:
What Do Former Clients Have to Say About Us?
I cannot begin to tell you how very pleased I am with Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law. Attorney Rooth is the benchmark for all attorneys in my opinion. Why? He is knowledgeable , personable , extremely professional and above all else very patient. I never felt as though I was a number or hurried through the process. Attorney Rooth took the time to explain in detail my case , my options, and what I should expect however his defining strength is that he treated me with respect and I never once felt as though he was railroading me. I knew confidently that he was in my corner and fighting for 'ME" and helping "ME" get through my court cases.- T. F.
I had recently contracted the law firm Moses and Rooth in Orlando Florida/Orange County, Florida to further efforts to protect my CDL-A Georgia drivers license in Orange County traffic court. I feel fortunate to have made contact with Mr. Jay Rooth and the law firm of Moses and Rooth. I found Mr. Rooth and staff as professional, experienced, and confidant in following through on two recent traffic cases. At no time during the court process did I feel as if my needs were not being served. I can't say enough about the level of professionalism and the feeling of having a highly experienced and driven law firm represent me in Orange County traffic court. I feel the positive outcome of my case was a direct result of this firms experience, attention to detail and focus on the task at hand. My request for legal representation was completely satisfied. I could not have asked for a more positive and professional result! Thank you Mr. Rooth and staff for such dedicated and wonderful work!- Daniel C.
Jay Rooth has been the most professional,knowledgeable, and truthful lawyer I have ever encountered. Not only did he explain how the case would go and the best possible outcome, but he made it happen and was always there if I had a question. His knowledge of the law and contacts that he has will work for you, and he is very easy to work with in regards to payment options and methods. I have given him multiple referrals and all of the outcomesfrom those cases were outstanding. He will be my attorney for life. THANKS JAY!!!!!- Michael N.
Local Man Identified in Images from Scene at Capitol Adam Johnson, aka “Lectern Guy”, has quickly become internet infamous. For those not familiar, Mr. Johnson, was not only one of the people who took part in last weeks riots, but he is also the one who posed with Speaker Pelosi’s lectern. According to the Statement of Facts Mr. Johnson was identified in the picture as being in the rotunda of the Capital building. According to the Speaker’s staff, the lectern was stored in the Speaker’s Suite before the riots began. Fortunately, the lectern was found on the Senate side of the capital and was not being sold on eBay as some places had reported. On January 6, 2021, Mr. Johnson may have made the worst decision of his life, however, he seems to have been making wiser decisions since then by hiring two high-powered local criminal defense attorneys, David Bigney and Dan Eckhart. While Mr. Johnson’s case is being prosecuted in the DC Circuit, he will appear today in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa and will be in front of Judge Christopher P. Tuite. Johnson is currently incarcerated and in the custody of the US Marshals, but he will be transported to court for the hearing. Mr. Johnson will be told the charges he is currently facing and perhaps most importantly his continued incarceration will be discussed. The US government may seek detention in which case the Federal Magistrate will determine if they feel that pretrial release is appropriate or if Mr. Johnson will continue to be detained. Alternatively, the Magistrate could rule that Mr. Johnson will remain in custody until the Judge in DC make a ruling on continued detention. The Court may consider detention if they consider Mr. Johnson to be a flight risk, if they feel that he is a danger to the community, or if the Judge determines that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of Mr. Johnson. Should the Judge determine that release is appropriate, they have a number of conditions that could be imposed as a condition of release. They include: Electronic monitoring Travel restrictions Curfew A prohibition on possession of a firearm or other weapon A prohibition on the use of drugs or alcohol A monetary bond A restriction on communication with certain people A restriction on accessing Social Media or Internet Forums Updates Coming Soon Today will be interesting for Mr. Johnson and a number of questions will need to be answered. Will the Government agree to release or seek detention? Will the Judge go along with the request for release or continued incarceration? Will the government give us some insight into what Mr. Johnson’s role was on January 6? Was he present when the Capital was initially breached or did enter later on? Is he alleged to have caused any destruction? Was he the one who took the Speaker’s lectern? We will follow up on the case after the 2pm initial appearanceRead More
We’d like to say thank you to all those who took the time to submit applications for our legal scholarship. After carefully reviewing all of them, we are pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 scholarship. Glenn Korman Congratulations! Glenn graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Political Science. He’s now attending New York University School of Law with an interest in environmental and energy law. Glenn tells more of his story in his scholarship essay, which he has agreed to have published below. We invite you to read it. “On paper, I am a suburban guy from the Northeast, but this role is too confining for me. As a kid, weekends were spent listening to my grandmother tell tales of 1950s Toronto. Summers were spent in the cornfields of Iowa with my extended family. For college, I moved to Boston to experience a city rich with history. Since then, I have added Stevensville, Michigan and Dresden, Germany to the list of places I have called home. Growing up in Buffalo, I witnessed an uneven economic revival that benefited only those that fit a certain mold. My time in the Midwest drove home the importance of crossing the political aisle. In Dresden, I was in the epicenter of the social friction that has been rocking Germany. Empathetic conversations with students from Syria opened my eyes to the heavy emotional toll that being stripped to the identity of “refugee” can have on someone. My experience at Boston University reinforced the value of intellectual diversity, and due to my interdisciplinary education, my fear that specializing in one area comes at the cost of ignorance of other fields was never realized. The widespread geographical distribution of each place I have called home has given me a myriad of diverse perspectives that I can draw upon when confronting political, economic, and social issues in my chosen area: environmental and energy law. Each of these distinctive communities has highlighted the importance of engaging with the local population to fully understand the unique complexities of their situation and their willingness to accept change. My exposure to a variety of environmental problems in these areas, such as fluctuating lake levels and flooding in the Great Lakes Basin, solidified my interest in environmental and energy law. Issues stemming from climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation often disproportionally impact lower-income and minority segments of our population. It is next to impossible to address the legal and policy questions that arise out of humanity’s use, and oftentimes abuse, of the environment without maintaining a strong sense of empathy for at-risk individuals, endangered species, and those that rely on the industry whose practices are being scrutinized. Specifically, I envision myself working to improve the state of energy governance in the United States. We lack a coordinated and comprehensive framework that reduces the overall environmental impact of these systems. Currently, environmental consequences are primarily considered during the siting process of new energy projects, forcing local and regional ecosystems to adapt after a cost-benefit analysis on the project’s potential impact is performed. Rather than working aggressively to minimize the environmental disruptiveness of these technologies from their inception, we address the majority of these issues at a stage where few substantive adaptations can be performed. While functional, this cost-benefit approach reduces the value of the environment by not properly considering monetary damages likely to result, such as a reduction in tourism or property values due to an increase in pollution, as well as benefits that are nearly impossible to monetize like personal enjoyment resulting from the use of pristine natural spaces. Furthermore, by using a discount factor that limits the future outlook on how harmful our current actions are, these analyses prevent us from doing justice for future generations. Advocating for and eventually shaping an updated legal framework regulating and incentivizing more environmentally friendly developments in this area is how I intend to use my Juris Doctor. Although a cost-benefit analysis will still have a place within this framework, considering the more abstract value of the environment must be incorporated as well. For this reason, I feel compelled to pursue a legal career where I can meaningfully impact this field while also practicing in a manner that emphasizes empathy and humanity.” – by Glenn KormanRead More