Definition of Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of methamphetamine is third degree felony in the state of Florida with a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Florida Statute §893.13(6)(a) states a person may not be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. It’s unlawful to be in possession of meth such as in your pocket or where you have knowledge of and control of the substance.
Penalties for Possession of Methamphetamine charges in Florida
Possession of methamphetamine in any amount is illegal. Possession of meth under 14 grams is typically charged as a simple possession of meth, however 14 grams of meth or more can be charged as trafficking in meth. Possession of fewer than 14 grams of methamphetamine can result in a prison sentence of up to five years, fines of up to $5,000, and 5 years of probation. Additionally, a conviction for possession of Methamphetamine will also result in the revocation of your driving privileges for six (6) months. (Florida Statute 322.055)
What is Meth?
Crystal Meth often resembles glass fragments as its illegally cooked with over the counter drugs in meth labs. Meth is a stimulant that is usually smoked, snorted or injected. Meth is considered a stimulant as it speeds up the body’s system.
Possession of the Chemicals Used to Make Methamphetamine
Florida Statute 893.149 makes it unlawful to possess a listed chemical. It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess or distribute a listed chemical knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that the listed chemical will be used to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance. Possession of a chemical, when the defendant knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the chemical will be used to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine, is also a crime.
Those convicted will be charged with a second-degree felony. One defense to this crime is to prove that the defendant was a private contractor or public employee who had the authorization to clean up or dispose of hazardous waste or toxic substances. In addition to serving jail time and paying a fine, the defendant can also be required to pay damages that arise out of the possession of chemicals used to make methamphetamine.
How is “Possession” Defined Under Florida Law
Possession is having, holding or exercising power or control over an item. They say that “possession” is nine-tenths of the law. In this case, they are correct. Police do not need to prove that you are the owner of meth found on your person, in your home, or in your vehicle. They need to prove that you knew that the meth was there. While this is not necessarily simple, saying that the meth “is not yours” will not be an adequate defense under Florida law. You will need to prove that you did not know about it. We often deal with three different types of possession – Actual Possession, Constructive possession and Joint possession.
Actual possession – meth is in your hand, in your pocket or so close to you that you have control over it.
Constructive possession – the meth is in place that you have control over or attempted to hide. To prove constructive possession, the government must show that you had control over the meth and that you knew the meth was there.
Joint Possession – this is where two or more people have control over the meth. Each person who is in control can be considered in possession of the same meth.
Defenses to Possession of Methamphetamine in Florida
If you are facing a charge of possession of methamphetamine in Orlando, it is important to start preparing your defense as soon as possible. In some cases, law enforcement officers do not properly determine the weight of the controlled substance. Since the penalties for possession of methamphetamine depend on the weight of the substance, it is important that law enforcement accurately measure the drug.
In some cases, the defendant was not in actual or constructive possession of the methamphetamine. Perhaps someone else put the substance in his or her backpack, or law enforcement did not arrest the right person. Finally, when law enforcement engages in an unlawful search and seizure, the evidence they gather can be thrown out.
Some of the potential defenses include:
- Mere proximity to the Methamphetamine does not establish possession
- Temporary possession
- Knowledge is required. In actual possession the knowledge is presumed however in constructive cases the knowledge of the Methamphetamine is not presumed.
- Fourth amendment violation due to unlawful search and seizure – this could be an unlawful search of your vehicle or an unlawful search of your pockets.
You Need an Experienced Defense Lawyer
If you are facing any type of methamphetamine charges, it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We have successfully represented many clients against possession of methamphetamine charges in Florida and we can help you fight your charges. Contact our lawyers as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Possession of Methamphetamine Resources
Florida Statute §893.13(6)(a) – Possession of controlled substance statute
Florida Statute 322.055 – driver’s license suspension for drug conviction
Florida Statute 893.21 – overdose possession
Florida Statute 777.201 – Entrapment Statute
Florida Statute 893.149 – Statute making it unlawful to possess a listed chemical
Methamphetamine Street Terms:
Speed, crank, chalk, trash, cotton candy, Christina, Tweak, Pookie, uppers, gak, bikers coffee, rocket fuel
Meth Possession FAQs
What Steps Should I Take After Being Arrested on Meth Charges?
If you have been arrested on methamphetamine charges, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. First and foremost, you should know that it is not in your best interests to give a statement to law enforcement officers or prosecutors. You are not required to answer any questions asked by the police or by state officials. Instead, you should get in touch with an experienced Orlando meth defense attorney as soon as possible. Your methamphetamine defense lawyer will protect your rights.
What are the Penalties for Methamphetamine Possession in Florida?
Meth possession is a serious criminal offense in Florida. Methamphetamines are listed as schedule II substances — this means that they are deemed to be illegal drugs with high potential for abuse and only have a limited medical use. Under Florida Statutes § 893.13, unlawful possession of meth is typically charged as a third-degree felony offense. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. However, if you possess an especially large amount of meth, it is possible that you could face second-degree or first-degree felony charges — potentially even possession with intent to distribute charges.
What are the Defenses for Meth Possession in Florida?
Defending a meth possession charge can be challenging. It is crucial that you speak to an experienced Orlando, FL meth possession defense lawyer who can build the proper defense for your specific case. In most cases, a defense lawyer will start by reviewing the conduct of law enforcement. You may be able to defend this type of charge by getting evidence that was obtained through an illegal search or seizure thrown out of court.
In other cases, the best defense may be to attack the elements of possession. For example, if you were charged with constructive meth possession — meaning law enforcement allegedly found meth in your ‘control’, but not on your person — you may be able to defend the charges by establishing that you had no knowledge of the presence of the substance. Ultimately, you need a defense that is well suited to the specific allegations raised in your case.
How Will an Orlando Meth Defense Attorney Help with Possession Charges or Meth Addiction in Orlando?
After being arrested on drug charges in Central Florida, you should contact an aggressive defense lawyer right away. At Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, our Orlando methamphetamine possession lawyers are prepared to take immediate action to protect you. Among other things, we will:
- Carefully review the meth charges filed against you;
- Explain your legal rights and legal options to you;
- Make sure that law enforcement respected your rights;
- Take action to get unlawfully obtained evidence excluded;
- Further investigate the meth charges — gather any exonerating evidence;
- Build a strong, compelling legal defense; and
- If sensible, work with prosecutors to reduce penalties.
False or unfair meth charges should be defended in an aggressive manner. Illegitimate charges must be dismissed. That being said, going to trial is certainly not the right approach in every case. When appropriate, our Orlando meth defense lawyers will work towards a plea agreement that limits penalties and best secures your future.