Winter Park, Florida, sits just north of Orlando and boasts robust parks and abundant outdoor spaces. Winter Park sees its fair share of travelers from those on their way to Disney in Orlando to Orlando residents seeking a brief respite from the chaos of the city. Permanent residents and tourists in Winter Park, Florida, rely on local authorities to enforce state and federal laws, including drug statutes. 

The mere fact that law enforcement arrests someone for a drug crime does not mean the accused committed the offense. Anyone charged with a drug crime should hire an experienced Winter Park drug crimes lawyer to represent them and protect their rights.

Overview of a Drug Possession Charge in Winter Park, FL

Possession of a controlled substance is the most basic drug charge in Florida. Under the law, Florida Statute Section 893.13(6)(a) prohibits anyone from possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. 

Examples of substances include, but are not limited to:

Possession means that you knew the substance was illegal and you had physical possession of the substance, or that you knew the illegal substance was in your presence and had control over the area or container where the substance was located.

A Winter Park drug charge attorney can explain the complexities of actual and constructive possession.

10/10 Andrew Moses is a professional hard working lawyer who goes above and beyond for his clients. If you’re scared about the legal system and in a bind look no further he will give you a clear view.
veronica heissner
veronica heissner
Paul Ghezzi took his time and listened to my issue AND did exactly what he said he would do. If you want someone who will listen and follow their word, then call Paul.
Jordan Cristwell
Jordan Cristwell
Absolutely tremendous staff (Tracy was Great 👍🏾). Attorney Rooth gave me a layout of the charges I was facing and he was able to successfully fight my tickets that would've jeopardized my driving record. Highly recommended. Can't thank ya enough
Emmanuel Rogers
Emmanuel Rogers
This law firm went on a 2 year roller coaster ride with me. They kept me from going to prison. They got me into rehab. I can say for certain that I am sober and intend to stay this way. Thanks to Mr. Jay Rooth , THE ORLANDO BRIDGE, My family and friends and above all myself. I can finally close this chapter in my life. Thanks again Moses and Rooth.
robert carlin
robert carlin
A wealth of legal expertise coupled with a make it happen professional attitude is exactly what you get when you hire Attorney Paul E. Ghezzi, Esq., of Moses & Rooth, to represent you. From my initial consultation Paul exuded an air of overwhelming confidence in his ability to get the Court to grant my motion for early termination of probation. Mom always said to me that God gave us all 2 ears to listen twice as much as we talk. Paul did just that, he listened intently to my intricate predicament which is a major attribute in the legal world. Having said that, when he spoke, I hung on every word and the motion was granted. Thank you Paul. Ladies and gentlemen, to regain your peace of mind in tough legal times, get yourself a magnificently savvy go-getter type of attorney.......Call Moses & Rooth and ask for Attorney Paul Ghezzi. With Paul, failure is NOT an option!
Byrd Risner
Byrd Risner
Paul Ghezzi, ESQ. represented me for a felony criminal defense case. He was able to get my 2 felonies dismissed & arrived at a plea for a misdemeanor with minimal fine and time served. He spent the time searching through my discovery and watching body cam footage to find my defense. An iron clad one at that That left the prosecution confused on why I was getting the deal of a lifetime. His knowledge on case law, his dedication of time to his clients and his empathy are unmatched. He is even trying to help me find an attorney to help me with a case I have in another state. Above & beyond is an understatement and the retainer was more than reasonable and well worth it. As somebody whose criminal history is as tall as me I have never had a lawyer fight for me, until now. If you find yourself in the position to need a power house attorney, look no further. You found him. to put this into full view for you, a case I could have done 5 years in prison for and have been sentenced to that for similar cases in the past, he was able to get me time served (for two days I spent in county awaiting bond), less than a $1,000 fine and NO PROBATION. When I have priors. I’m going to say it again, LOOK NO FURTHER.
Ashley Renee
Ashley Renee
I have hired attorneys in the past and I have to share that I’ve never had an attorney like Paul Ghezzi from Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law. Paul kept in contact with us through the entire process. Paul was always available for any questions we had and was always willing to go the extra mile. From my family to you Paul you are more than just attorney your now my friend. You are so much appreciated. Thank you Paul for being you! I strongly recommend this law firm if any of these attorneys give you 50% of what Paul has done for my family you will be in great shape!
Vicente Vigil
Vicente Vigil
I had an excellent experience with Moses and Rooth. From beginning to end I felt I had trusted the right firm. Jay Rooth represented me in my case and having an attorney who was pleasant, professional, and very experienced was everything. During a stressful time, I feel much of the stress was reduced due to the fact I made a good decision going with Jay. What is also important is everyone at this office is fantastic and helpful throughout the process. Many thanks !
Erin Meaney
Erin Meaney
If I could tell Mr. Jay Rooth a million times how much I thank and appreciate him I would ! After being told by three attorneys that my case was complicated and couldn’t be turned around, I almost gave up but my last attempt to fix my situation was the best decision I could have made ! Mr. Rooth worked so efficiently to help me. His knowledge, confidence, and reassurance is truly unbelievable. He updated me, communicated with me and did not miss a beat ! I will forever be grateful, I’ve been bragging on him ever since our first conversation! 10/10 HIGHLY RECOMMEND !!!!!!
Nastashia Kirkwood
Nastashia Kirkwood
Andrew is an amazing attorney. He really cares about his clients and goes above and beyond. Finding him was a blessing and my family and I will be forever be grateful to him.
Jessy C.
Jessy C.

Penalties for a Drug Possession Conviction

In most cases, a first-time conviction for possession of a controlled substance is a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The court can also mandate participation in drug counseling, suspend your driving privileges, and require inpatient treatment. 

Section 893.13(6)(b) outlines an exception for marijuana and other cannabis-based substances. As long as you possess under 20 grams, possession is considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. After four misdemeanor drug possession convictions, the prosecutor can increase any later misdemeanor possession charges to a felony. 

Overview of a Drug Trafficking Charge in Winter Park, FL

Selling drugs is a step up from simply possessing them for one’s own use. Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a), possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, is an enhanced drug offense with harsher penalties than a basic possession charge.

To secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove the elements of drug possession, and that the accused intended to sell, manufacture, or deliver the controlled substance to another person.

The prosecutor may attempt demonstrate your intention to sell the controlled substance  with evidence of things like:

  • The packaging of the controlled substance;
  • Statements made by you or others;
  • The presence of paraphernalia, such as scales or baggies;
  • The amount of the controlled substance; and
  • Large amounts of cash found near the controlled substance.

You can establish that you were not intending to sell, manufacture, or distribute the controlled substance by presenting evidence of that fact. A Winter Park drug crimes attorney can locate evidence to invalidate the prosecutor’s attempts to prove your intent.

Penalties for a Drug Trafficking Conviction

The length of your possession with intent to sell sentence depends on the amount and type of drugs found. A conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is a third-degree felony. Alternatively, individuals accused of selling cocaine or heroin often face second-degree felony charges. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the accused possesses more than four grams of a Schedule II drug like fentanyl, they can face a drug trafficking charge. Trafficking fentanyl is considered a first-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for trafficking depend on the amount of controlled substance in the defendant’s possession. If you are convicted of possessing four and fourteen grams of fentanyl, the judge must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine but can impose a sentence of up to 30 years. If you are convicted of possessing more than fourteen grams but less than twenty-eight grams of fentanyl, the judge must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a $100,000 fine but can impose a sentence of up to 30 years. A judge cannot sentence a person convicted of drug trafficking to below the statutorily required mandatory minimum sentence unless the State Attorney agrees.

Potential Defenses to Drug Crimes

The prosecution bears the burden of proving each element of your drug charge beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled Winter Park drug crimes attorney can determine whether a legal defense applies to your case and helps defeat an element of the underlying charge.

Legal defenses that can apply to possession and trafficking cases include:

  • Another person possessed the controlled substance;
  • Authorities lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the initial traffic stop;
  • You have a valid prescription for the controlled substance;
  • You did not have actual or constructive possession of the substance (i.e., it was found in a shared space and you didn’t know it was there); or
  • Authorities violated your constitutional rights during your arrest or before finding the controlled substance.

A knowledgeable drug crimes defense lawyer in Winter Park, FL can explain the legal defenses applicable to your drug crimes charges and determine why they apply. 

Contact a Winter Park Drug Charge Lawyer at Moses and Rooth Today

The best way to secure a favorable outcome in your drug possession or distribution case is by hiring a drug crimes defense attorney to defend your rights. Dealing with criminal charges is a frustrating, complicated experience that you should not try to navigate alone. 

Our founding attorneys Andrew Moses and Jay Rooth have experience as district attorneys and know the facts prosecutors use to build their cases and ways to secure a favorable outcome. We will not hesitate to take your case to trial if necessary. Our attorneys can utilize our extensive courtroom experience and in-depth knowledge of the federal and state criminal justice systems to obtain a positive outcome in your case.