If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Rockledge, or anywhere in Brevard county, you will need an highly experienced criminal defense attorney.
Drug possession charges in Brevard County are serious, because of the state’s strict drug laws, but they don’t have to affect your future. Mr. Kontos has decades of experience defending Florida drug charges, and in many cases, he has been able to get these types of charges reduced or even dismissed. You should never accept any plea deals offered by the prosecution without seeking the advice of an attorney like James Kontos.
The Law Office of James Kontos is committed to making sure every client has the best defense possible. We offer a free consultation for anyone charged with drug possession. We will sit down and examine your case with you, explore all of your defense options, and all possible penalties that you may be facing. Schedule your free consultation today.
Florida’s drug laws can be placed into the following categories: possession, and manufacture or distribution. In general, the penalties for possessing a controlled substance are less harsh than the penalties for growing or producing this substance or selling it to someone else.
Chapter 893 Florida Statutes, is named the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This law lists all of the substances that are considered a “controlled substance”. These substances can be categorized into five schedules and they are regulated by the state and federal government.
A possession charge in Florida can be elevated to “possession with intent to sell” when a defendant is caught with a large amount (other than personal use) of an illegal substance like heroin or cocaine and marijuana. In other cases, defendants can be subject to charge if they possess packaging materials, large amounts of cash, or text messages that reveal communication with prospective customers. You can also be charged if the amount of drugs in their possession is relatively small.
Marijuana possession (without a prescription and without the intent to sell) is usually a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a 1-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
Other drug crimes can range from a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
First-degree felony drug charges usually involve possession or possession of a relatively small amount with the intent to sell. Individuals caught with less than 28 grams (or around one ounce) of cocaine, less than 10 grams of MDMA or ecstasy, less than 1 gram of LSD, or up to 4 grams of heroin or other opiates may be subject to first-degree felony charges.
Meanwhile, those with more than 25 pounds of non-medical marijuana or more than the third-degree felony limits of other controlled substances may be charged with a first-degree felony. In the vast majority of cases, possession of this amount of drugs indicates an intent to sell and can be prosecuted as such.
Some penalties may include probation, drug counseling and treatment, community service, license suspension, and random drug testing.
In order to prove a defendant guilty of a charge involving a controlled substance, prosecutors must establish three factors beyond a reasonable doubt:
Without one of these three essential factors, the claim will fail. For instance, if you’re found in possession of a controlled substance but can show that you didn’t have knowledge of the substance (for example, if it was found in your vehicle after you lent it to a friend), you may not have the requisite knowledge for a conviction. By that same token, someone who is riding in a vehicle in which controlled substances are found but who had no control over the drug, even if they had knowledge of it, may not be found guilty.
While the penalties for drug crimes under Florida law can be severe, a conviction isn’t a given. There are several potential defenses that could be available, including:
Other defenses may be available depending on the specific facts of your case. An experienced defense attorney can work with you to determine which of these defenses are most viable and should be pursued.
Will I automatically go to jail if I’m facing drug charges in Rockledge FL?
Not necessarily! There are ways to have drug charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the circumstances. Other possible penalties may include entering a substance abuse treatment program, community service, probation or random drug testing.
Can I still be charged if I didn’t give the officer permission to search my car?
Without permission or a warrant, nothing found in your vehicle can be used against you. An experienced Melbourne defense attorney will fight the charges on grounds that your constitutional rights were violated and have the charges dismissed.
What is a Pretrial Intervention Program, and is it an option for my drug charge in Brevard County?
In some cases, a person facing a charge of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, who has little to no criminal history, may qualify for a Pretrial Intervention Program. In this case, you may be allowed to enroll in the program, which will require the completion of certain requirements within a specified period of time. Upon successful completion, your charges with be dropped and the case dismissed.
Can I be charged for only possessing only drug paraphernalia and no substance in Rockledge FL?
According to Florida law, possession of drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor. According to the Florida Statute, drug paraphernalia is defined as, “all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance”. Possible penalties for a possession of drug paraphernalia could include jail time or probation, so it’s important to take this charge seriously.
Do I Need An Attorney For My Drug Charge?
A conviction on a Florida drug offense can have serious consequences. Hiring an attorney that is experienced with Brevard County drug charges can make all the difference in maintaining your freedom and keeping your record clean. Call Kontos Law Firm for a FREE case evaluation today! Our experienced legal counselors will review your case and discuss all of your options with you.