Experienced Orlando Drug Crime Attorneys Ready To Serve You
A conviction for a drug-related charge can result in serious penalties. The State of Florida has some of the toughest drug laws in the country. A drug charge conviction can result in prison time, a criminal record, probation and even a driver’s license suspension. If you face a drug crime charge in central Florida, you need an experienced Orlando drug crime lawyer who will protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
At the Orlando, Florida, law firm of Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law, we bring a unique perspective to the defense of drug charges. How?
- Both of our criminal defense attorneys have practiced criminal law exclusively for the duration of their legal careers.
- Both members of our lawyer team are former prosecutors. We understand how prosecutors approach cases and factor this knowledge in when strategizing the defense of clients’ drug crime charges.
Overview: Orlando Drug Crimes Lawyer Discusses Florida Drug Crime Laws
Florida has strict drug laws. Unlike many states that have started relaxing drug laws, Florida has not. You could face stiff, life-altering penalties after a drug crimes conviction. To help avoid these penalties, you should consult an Orlando drug crimes attorney who has extensive experience fighting for people like you.
Drug Schedules and Penalties
Florida classifies drugs based on schedules that classify narcotics based on their potency, the potential for addiction, and medical benefits.
For example, heroin and fentanyl derivatives are on Schedule I. Cannabis, peyote, and psilocybin also appear in Schedule I.
Schedule II drugs include morphine, hydrocodone (oxycontin), fentanyl, cocaine, and methadone. Schedule III drugs include LSD and small amounts of codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and steroids. Schedule IV lists prescription drugs like Klonopin. Schedule V includes low doses of Schedule IV drugs and other stimulants.
Generally, drug possession is a third-degree felony. But the penalty you face depends on a number of variables, such as the classification and amount of drugs found. Third-degree felonies carry up to five years in a Florida prison. However, possessing 10 grams or more of certain Schedule I drugs is a first-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a first-degree felony is life in prison.
On the other hand, possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor, and possession of a Schedule V drug is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Florida prohibits possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. A drug possession lawyer might call this crime “simple possession.” Simple possession is different from possession with the intent to sell, manufacture, or distribute the substance.
In Florida, simple possession refers to both actual and constructive possession. Actual possession refers to having direct physical control over an object that is on your person. An example would be when you are holding your cell phone, or it is on your person. Constructive possession refers to having the intent to exercise dominion and control over a thing that is not actually on your person. For example, you have constructive possession of your cell phone when it is charging in the kitchen, but you are in your bedroom.
Distribution or Sale of Narcotics
Florida law severely punishes possessing narcotics with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or sell, as well as selling, manufacturing, and distributing narcotics. The punishment for these acts depends on several factors, including the schedule of the drug.
Moreover, Florida law includes minimum mandatory sentences based on where the crime occurs, such as within 1,000 feet of a school or a daycare facility.
Punishments for these offenses range from first-degree to third-degree felonies, depending on the type of drug. However, possessing with the intent to sell or distribute a Schedule V drug is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Federal vs. State Drug Crime Laws
Federal and state drug laws overlap. Narcotic possession is a federal crime, as is possession with the intent to sell or manufacture. However, federal prosecutors do not pursue federal charges whenever someone is arrested at the state level for a drug crime. They could, but federal law enforcement authorities target traffickers, importers, and manufacturers of narcotics or people running drug rings rather than going after someone who sells heroin to feed a habit.
The penalties for federal drug crimes are severe. You’ll need legal assistance from a dedicated and highly-experienced Orlando drug crimes lawyer if you are the subject of a federal drug investigation.
Defending Against Prescription Drug Charges
Although prescription drugs are legal, only those who have valid prescriptions from duly licensed doctors can possess prescription drugs, and only up to the amount prescribed. There are many different crimes in the context of prescription drugs. Some of the more common prescription drug charges include:
- Possession of Oxycodone / Oxycontin
- Possession of Xanax
- Prescription fraud
- Prescription Drug Sale
- Doctor shopping
- Altering prescriptions
- OxyContin/prescription drug trafficking
- Prescription pad theft
Most people associate drug crimes with illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines. The frequency of drug crimes involving prescriptions has increased tremendously.
Due to overdoses, prescription drug fatalities and addiction, prescription drug crimes have become one of the most important targets for law enforcement in recent years.
Many people are surprised to find themselves charged with prescription drug crimes. They feel that they obtained valid prescriptions from doctors, so they should not be in violation of any laws. Many people begin taking pharmaceutical drugs for legitimate reasons. Some pain medications are highly addictive, and patients find that they become dependent on these medications, even after using them for a short time.
However, Florida laws are becoming stricter regarding the quantity of the pharmaceuticals possessed and the details surrounding the acquisition of prescription drugs.
Our Orlando drug crime lawyers will look at the facts of your case, research the specific incidents surrounding the state’s investigations, the stop and arrest, and review every aspect of the state’s interactions with you regarding the prescription drug charges. We will do everything we can to help you obtain the best results possible in your case.
Prescription drug arrests often begin with a vehicle stop. Police officers may search the vehicle in which pharmaceutical drugs are found in an incorrect prescription bottle. Prosecutors may bring charges even if you had a valid prescription and just happened to have switched bottles for your own convenience.
The State of Florida is taking a hard stance regarding possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription. Florida has consistently modified the laws regarding the amount or weight of drugs in your possession to reach the trafficking amount.
Many people do not realize that, whether you buy drugs off the street or obtain them in a doctor’s office, the consequences of involvement with prescription narcotics are serious. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that is often learned too late.
Some of the most common defenses for prescription drug charges include:
- Illegal Search and Seizure
- Valid Prescription
- Warrantless Stop
- Speedy Trial
- Statute of Limitations
Drug Crimes Defense Strategies
Representation from a skilled drug charge lawyer in Orlando can help you get the best possible defense for your case. Search and seizure issues are routinely present in drug cases. However, we look at other avenues of defense for all of our clients to ensure they get the defense that best suits them.
Depending on the facts of your case, we might be able to get the case thrown out because you have no connection to the drugs. Or you might have a case that stands a good chance of getting an acquittal if we take it to trial. Finally, entering into plea negotiations with the prosecutor might be the best way to reduce your exposure to Florida’s harsh drug penalties.
No matter your charges, you can rest assured that our Orlando drug crime lawyers will examine every avenue of defense for you. Our team has decades of legal experience as prosecutors and defense attorneys. You can rely on us to help when you need it the most.
Florida Drug Crimes: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Should I Hire an Orlando Drug Defense Lawyer?
You should hire a drug crime defense lawyer as early on in your case as possible. One of the biggest mistakes that criminal defendants make in drug cases is waiting to seek professional legal representation.
If the police are questioning you about drugs or any other type of crime, you should consider yourself a suspect. Anything that you say can be used against you in court.
Unfortunately, your words may even get twisted around and turned into something that you did not intend. The sooner you get an Orlando drug crime defense attorney by your side, the better off you will be.
What are the Penalties for a Drug Crime Case in Florida?
The penalties for a drug-related offense vary dramatically. Ultimately, the penalties depend entirely on the specific nature of the charges against you. As a general rule, possession charges are less severe than distribution or manufacturing charges. Still, there is truly no such thing as a minor drug offense.
If you have been arrested for any type of drug crime in Orange County, Florida, you need to get your case into the hands of an experienced Orlando drug charge lawyer as soon as possible.
How Will a Criminal Defense Attorney Protect My Rights?
All drug crime cases are different. The steps that your Orlando, FL defense attorney will take to protect your rights will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. It is important to work with a criminal legal practitioner that can offer you a fully individualized legal defense.
To start, a drug charges defense attorney will often review your case to determine if your rights were violated. For example, if the police did not have probable cause to conduct a search of you or your home, any evidence that they obtained against you might not be admissible in a court of law.
In reviewing the evidence in your case, your Orlando drug crime defense attorney will also need to determine whether or not prosecutors can prove all of the elements of the charges being brought against you. If the charges are invalid due to a lack of evidence or other reasons, then the proper legal strategy may be to mount an aggressive defense.
Of course, an aggressive defense strategy is not appropriate in every case. In some cases, it is far more sensible to focus on reducing punishment. If you are being charged with drug possession, there may be pre-trial intervention options available to you. You may be eligible to seek treatment, and you may be able to avoid any time in jail.
Contact Our Orlando Drug Crime Lawyers Today
Do not face your drug charges alone. If you were arrested for a drug-related offense in Central Florida, you need to be prepared to seek aggressive legal representation. Your freedom may be at stake. You should not trust your case to an amateur.
At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our top-rated Orlando drug crime defense lawyers are standing by, ready to advocate for your best interests. Call us to speak with an experienced Orlando drug crime attorney at our Orlando law office for a no-charge initial consultation and for experienced and committed legal help.
Drug Case Types We Handle
We have handled many drug crime charges and are highly experienced in handling virtually all types of drug violations. Case types we commonly handle include:
Sale & Delivery Charges
- Conspiracy to traffic drugs
- Cultivation/Growhouse Charges
- Drug Manufacturing
- Possession with Intent to Deliver or Sell
- Sale and Delivery of Cannabis
- Sale and Delivery of Cocaine
- Sale and Delivery of Fentanyl
- Sale and Delivery of Meth / Methamphetamine
- Sale and Delivery of Heroin
- Sale and Delivery of MDMA
- Sale and Delivery of Cannabis
- Cocaine Possession
- MDMA/Ecstasy Possession
- Fentanyl Possession
- Florida Drug Court Diversion Program
- Heroin Possession
- Marijuana/Cannabis Possession Over 20 Grams
- Marijuana/Cannabis Possession Under 20 Grams
- Marijuana Possession
- Synthetic Marijuana, Spice, K2 Possession
- Meth, Methamphetamine Possession
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of Prescription Drugs
Prescription Drug Charges