The dedicated drug crime attorneys at the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason represent people who have been charged with drug possession, as well as other crimes related to controlled substances. A conviction – even if it is for only a small amount of marijuana – may have a serious impact on your life, including burdening you with a criminal record that you may need to divulge to future employers. Our Gainesville drug possession attorneys draw on more than four decades of combined legal experience to advocate for defendants throughout North-Central Florida, including in Ocala and Bronson. We make ourselves available 24 hours a day seven days a week to handle our clients’ needs.Fighting Charges of Drug Possession in Florida
The possession of illegal drugs is a crime under both Florida and federal laws. The state takes these offenses seriously, and the state legislature has enacted severe punishments for people caught with controlled substances. The possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana – a drug that has been decriminalized in several states and even in certain cities in Florida – still carries a sentence of up to a year in prison and as much as $1,000 in fines under state law. Also, a conviction for any type of drug possession charge has the collateral impact of a two-year drivers license suspension.
The penalties increase for a person who is caught with enough of a drug on hand that they are considered to possess the substance with the intent to distribute it. A person who possesses heroin with the intent to distribute it, for instance, may be charged with a second-degree felony. If this type of charge results in a conviction, a defendant may be sentenced to 15 years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
The possession of certain quantities of drugs may be charged as drug trafficking in some cases. This is a serious crime that carries minimum mandatory prison sentences under Florida law, depending on the type and quantity of the drugs involved.
If you are in the difficult situation of being charged with a drug offense, it may be reassuring to know that Florida law provides some defendants with alternatives to jail time. These usually include some combination of drug treatment, probation, and community service. Alternatives are a particularly plausible prospect for first-time offenders, who may be able to have their charges dropped if they complete a treatment program and satisfy other terms.
A person charged with drug possession may also have a number of legal defenses to raise. In some situations, a defendant may have reason to challenge the basis for the seizure of the prosecution’s evidence. For example, the police may have lacked the requisite reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the defendant or the defendant’s property. When police take unconstitutional shortcuts to make arrests, the prosecution is not allowed to benefit from any evidence that they obtain as a result.Protect Your Rights by Retaining a Drug Possession Attorney in the Gainesville Area
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession in North-Central Florida, you should not hesitate to contact the Gainesville drug possession lawyers at the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason. Our attorneys are committed to helping you protect your rights to the fullest extent of the law. We can assist defendants in communities such as Ocala, Bronson, Alachua, Archer, Starke, Green Cove Springs, Hawthorne, High Springs, Trenton, Williston, Palatka, Newberry, Macclenny, Lake City, Bushnell, Live Oak, and Lake Butler. Call us at 877-377-7801 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.