Drug Possession Attorney in Tampa, Florida
Types of Florida Drug Possession Charges
Possession of drugs can have very serious consequences in Florida and the Tampa Bay area, including jail or prison time and the suspension of your driving privilege. Contact an experienced Tampa drug possession lawyer to see how we can help you avoid a conviction.
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Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Marijuana can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the amount found is 20 grams or less, Florida law makes the possession of Marijuana a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail or probation and a fine of up to $1000. If the amount found is over 20 grams, Florida law makes it a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
As of now, Florida does not allow for a defense of medical marijuana and therefore, it is not a defense in Florida that the marijuana is needed for medical reasons or even that the marijuana was prescribed by a doctor in another state or that the person possesses a medical marijuana card from another state.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a Controlled Substance is considered a 3rd degree felony under Florida law and can be punished by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5000 fine.
What Does “Possession” Mean?
In order to prove possession, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the marijuana was actually found on that person. It is enough if the prosecutor proves what is called “constructive possession.” The prosecutor can prove constructive possession by showing that the drugs were found in a bag which also had other property of that person inside it or in a car or place where the person was at. The issue gets more complicated if the drugs were found in a common place or in a place that at least one other person had access to as well. The inability of the prosecutor to prove possession can be a defense to drug possession charges. A lawyer can help you navigate the ins and outs of that defense.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Drug Possession charges in Tampa can lead to very serious consequences. A majority of possession charges are felonies and can result in a felony conviction that can follow you for the rest of your life, result in prison or jail time and hefty fines that you can't afford to pay. A felony conviction can cause you to lose your current job and make it difficult to get a new job or gain admission to graduate and undergraduate programs at colleges and universities. If you or a loved one has been charged with or accused of a drug possession offense in Tampa, including possession of prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine or other controlled substances it is important that you get the legal advice of a Tampa Bay drug possession lawyer as soon as possible. Don't talk to the police in an effort to try and get a favorable outcome. Talking to the police might lead you to make statements that can be later used against you - even if you just make short innocent-sounding statements.
Unlawful Searches and Stops
There are many defenses that a skilled felony drug possession lawyer can investigate for you. An attorney will be able to see what defense or strategy may work the best in your specific case. Kerstin Wade at the Wade Law Firm will investigate whether your case could be dropped because of an illegal stop or police search that may lead to a dismissal of charges.
Alternative Programs Avoiding a Drug Possession Conviction
Depending on the circumstances in your case, an alternative drug treatment based program or diversion program may be available that could result in the charges being dropped. However, even when available these programs may not be the best approach for you. Kerstin Wade has a lot of experience handling Tampa felony drug possession cases and can advise you whether or not these programs are the best choice for you or if you are better off fighting the case to the end involving motions and a possible trial.
Lack of Evidence of Drug Possession
Tampa Bay drug Possession crimes are more complicated than it may seem at first. Not all cases are straightforward cases where the police found the drugs directly on you. Often times people are arrested because drugs are found in close proximity to where the police saw you - maybe drugs were found in your car. In those cases, the prosecutor may not be able to prove that you actually possessed the drugs. Sometimes, the prosecutor may not be able to prove that the substance found was actually a controlled substance under Florida law. In many of these situations, the prosecutor may lack the necessary evidence to convict you. The Wade Law Firm has the necessary experience to see whether or not such a defense is available to you.
Other Affirmative Defenses to Drug Charges
Even if the state can prove that you actually possessed a controlled substance, you may have a prescription that gives you the right to possess the drugs. If that is the case, you should not settle for a quick resolution but you should try to fight the charges and aim for the charges being dropped without you having to do anything or a not guilty verdict. Call an experienced Tampa drug possession attorney at the Wade Law Firm today at 813-401-0130 to see how we can help you avoid the sting of a drug conviction.