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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Defending Against Florida Drug Possession Charges

Defending Against Florida Drug Possession Charges


Florida is a state that takes drug crimes extremely seriously, due to its past as a cartel mecca – which means that if you are charged with drug possession, it is crucial you take it seriously. Even being caught with a relatively small amount of drugs can lead to time behind bars, and a permanent stain on your record – asserting an affirmative defense may make all the difference.

Potentially Serious Consequences

Drug possession, like other drug charges in Florida, hinges on two factors: the type of drug involved in the case, and the amount a person was found to possess. In general, the more one possesses, the more severe the charges will be. For example, Florida law holds that if someone is found to possess less than 10 grams of MDMA (‘ecstasy’ or ‘molly’), they will usually be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries up to 5 years in prison; if they have more than 10 grams, they may be charged with trafficking in MDMA, which can carry more jail time and fines.

In addition to fines and jail time, an adult convicted of a drug charge cannot generally have it expunged from their record; this means that if a future landlord or employer does a background check, they may be able to see the conviction. Things may be different for juvenile defendants, who may receive a different outcome in their case, but the charge should still be taken seriously.

Common Defenses

If you have been charged with drug possession in Florida, there are several possible defenses that you and your attorney can raise in order to create reasonable doubt or otherwise get the charges dropped. If applicable, one of the most common methods used is to allege that law enforcement’s search of your home or vehicle (or, sometimes, your person) was illegal. An officer must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion in order to search (or your consent, in some situations), and a failure to obtain that is actionable.

Another common way to cast reasonable doubt on charges against you is to undermine one of the required criteria for the crime. In order to establish drug possession, a state’s attorney must show that you (1) had possession of a controlled substance; (2) that you had control and/or ‘access’ to the substance; and (3) you knew or should have known that it was illegal to possess. If you can show that, say, you did not know the substance was illegal, or that you had no access to the substance, the case against you will generally fail.

Call A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney 

If you are stopped with a controlled substance, know that the charges against you will likely be serious. A West Palm Beach drug crime attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help ensure that your rights are protected in court. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.



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