Drug Crime Defense Attorney in Orlando & Lake County
Drug possession, delivery, and trafficking cases are complex, involving aspects which cross into all areas of criminal law. Search and seizure law is also an integral part of an Orlando criminal defense if you’ve been charged with this type of offense. At times, confidential informants are used to effecting an arrest. Your criminal defense attorney can explain what a confidential informant means, and how to defend yourself if a confidential informant is involved in your drug arrest.
Possession of Controlled Substances
Controlled substances encompass all chemicals, which are regulated by the law as having a medicinal or psychotropic effect. These include cocaine, oxycodone, MDMA, cannabis, as well as analog chemical substances. An analog chemical substance is a chemical copy of organic compounds manufactured in a laboratory and that is subject to regulation. They include synthetic cocaine distillates and derivatives, synthetic heroin such as Demerol, and other branded synthetic painkillers. They are sometimes referred to as “designer drugs”.
What Does Possession Mean?
If you are arrested and charged with possession, the state has to establish that you have both actual knowledge of the controlled substance and physical possession or control of it. The fact that other people have access to the controlled substance is not important because the control does not have to be exclusive for a person to be charged with possession. Possession usually means having a personal use amount. If you have more than a personal use amount of any controlled substance, the state can charge with delivery.
What Does Delivery Mean?
If you are arrested and charged with delivery of a controlled substance, the state must prove that you either actually transferred or attempted to transfer possession of a controlled substance from yourself to another person. Delivery means a transfer or attempted transfer of possession of a controlled substance. The law does not require that money be paid for you to be convicted of delivery of any controlled substance. If you give cocaine to another person, you can be convicted of delivery of cocaine.
What Does Manufacture Mean
Manufacturer means you can be convicted of preparing, compounding, cultivating or growing a controlled substance. The penalties are based on the number of plants or pills or the weight of the controlled substance. Possession of a large amount of controlled substance may elevate the charge to trafficking. Manufacturing a controlled substance is treated very harshly by Florida laws.
What is Drug Trafficking?
If you’ve been arrested and charged with drug trafficking, the state is seeking penalties which can impose a 30-year prison term. Trafficking charges are reserved for certain schedule 1 controlled substances. Trafficking charges are also filed if you have possession of certain weights in excess of personal use amounts, and you can also be charged with delivery or attempted delivery. As in manufacturing charges, the weight of the controlled substance or the number of pills determines the severity of the trafficking charge.
How do Federal Prosecutions Differ From State Prosecutions in Florida?
The regulations of controlled substances and the criminal statutes imposing sanctions exist both in federal law and Florida state law. If you are arrested in Florida, you can be criminally prosecuted by either the U.S. government in federal court or by the state of Florida in state court. There is no bar to a criminal prosecution for the same substance in both federal and Florida courts.
Generally, federal prosecutions usually involve harsher treatment for possession than state courts. Federal prosecutions for delivery of controlled substances are planned prosecutions undertaken by a federal task force.
What is Drug Court?
Florida has made drug rehabilitation available to first-time offenders charged with possession of cocaine in personal use amounts. The drug court program is a four-stage rehabilitation program which can be completed in one year. If you successfully complete drug court, the state will withdraw the charges. The most successful drug court graduates leave the court system with no criminal history, which is a very desirable outcome.
If you have been charged with delivery of cocaine, or delivery of heroin, you will not be eligible for a drug court alternative disposition.
Changes in the Law
Florida laws are always being modified by the legislature. The legislature has imposed minimum mandatory sentences for controlled substance charges. This means that the first offense exposes you to a minimum mandatory jail sentence of one year, a second offense exposes you to a mandatory three-year sentence, and so forth. To ensure you obtain the most lenient sentencing, be sure to contact experienced Orlando drug crime defense attorneys Conan & Herman.
With several prior offenses, trafficking can become life penalty. Florida does not offer parole for persons convicted of life felonies. Criminal history is also a factor in the department corrections holding, you so you should always be mindful that any arrest which results in a conviction will enhance the sentencing aspect of an arrest for possession of any controlled substance in Florida. Questions regarding the punishment code are best discussed with a criminal defense attorney.
Board certified criminal defense attorney Mark Conan can provide you with aggressive and effective representation if you’ve been charged with possession, trafficking or delivery of controlled substances. Contact him for a free consultation at (407) 872-3999.
If you have been charged with possession, trafficking or delivery of controlled substances, you need to hire an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney who knows how the system works and can protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Conan and Herman P.A. have successfully defended thousands of people in all areas of criminal law, and they will personally handle all aspects of your drug-related case. Contact Mark T. Conan or J. Scott Herman at (407) 872-3999 for a free consultation.