Melbourne Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer
Being charged with possessing a controlled substance can create a lot of stress in your life. The best move is to find a Melbourne possession of a controlled substance lawyer who can help you negotiate your charges and possibly reduce your sentence or get your case dismissed.
The laws in Florida concerning possession of a controlled substance are some of the most severe in the nation. Besides facing consequences such as losing your driver’s license and having a permanent conviction on your criminal record, you may be required to serve a mandatory prison sentence if you are convicted.
Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is one of the first steps you should take following an arrest. This decision is one of the most effective you can make in terms of influencing the outcome of your legal proceedings. I am a Melbourne possession of a controlled substance lawyer who can represent you in court, help you prepare for the path ahead, and possibly avoid a permanent conviction on your record.
What Is Possession Of A Controlled Substance?
Florida law chapter 893.147 states that it is:
“1. unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia.
(a) To plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance in violation of this chapter; or
(b)To inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter.”
Florida’s Drug Classification System
Florida categorizes controlled substances into five “schedules.” Information about each schedule can be found in chapter 893.03 of the Florida Statutes. These schedules are determined by whether or not the drug is used for medical purposes and also how likely the drug is to result in addiction.
Schedule I drugs are any controlled substance with “a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and in its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards.” Drugs commonly classified as Schedule I controlled substances include:
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Hallucinogenic mushrooms (Psilocybin)
Any drug classified under Schedule II “has a high potential for abuse and has a currently accepted but severely restricted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.” These include:
Any drug classified under Schedule III “has a potential for abuse less than the substances contained in Schedules I and II and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence or, in the case of anabolic steroids, may lead to physical damage.” These include:
Any drug classified as Schedule IV “has a low potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule III and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III.” These include:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Halcion (triazolam)
Schedule V drugs are any substance, compound, mixture, or preparation of a substance that “has a low potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule IV and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of such compound, mixture, or preparation may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule IV.” These drugs commonly include:
- Tylenol with Codeine
- Centussin DHC (brompheniramine/dihydrocodeine/phenylephrine)
- Robitussin (guaifenesin)
- M-phen (codeine/phenylephrine/promethazine)
- Poly-Tussin AC (brompheniramine, codeine, and phenylephrine)
- Lomotil (Diphenoxylate/Atropine)
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
Penalties For A Conviction For Possession Of Controlled Substances
The convictions for possession of each drug will depend largely on the amount of the drug that an individual is found to be in possession of and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Possible penalties include:
- Fines: Convictions for possession of a controlled substance often involve fines. The amount of the fine can vary widely, from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- Probation: In some cases, individuals may receive probation instead of or in addition to fines and imprisonment. Probation typically involves regular check-ins with a probation officer and compliance with certain conditions, such as drug testing, treatment, or community service.
- Imprisonment: Many drug possession convictions can result in jail or prison sentences.
- Mandatory Minimum Sentences: In some cases, especially with certain controlled substances or in federal cases, there may be mandatory minimum sentences that judges must impose, which can result in longer prison terms.
- Felony Record: A conviction for possession of a controlled substance is often classified as a felony, which can have serious long-term consequences, including limitations on future employment, housing, and the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or possess firearms.
- Drug Treatment Programs: Some jurisdictions offer drug diversion or treatment programs as an alternative to traditional penalties. Completing these programs may lead to a reduction in charges or sentences.
- Enhanced Penalties: Penalties may be enhanced for certain factors, such as possession near a school, involving minors, or if the individual has prior drug convictions.
- Asset Forfeiture: In some cases, law enforcement may seize assets associated with drug crimes, including money, vehicles, or property.
How A Melbourne Drug Possession Lawyer Can Help
I specialize in criminal defense cases and have provided legal representation in over 50 trials over the course of my career as an attorney. My comprehensive knowledge of what the law states and how it relates to your case is one of the most significant factors that allows me to shift the direction of your legal charges.
As your drug possession lawyer, I can help you to:
- Understand your charges
- Understand possible penalties
- Respond to accusations
- Refute unlawful evidence
- Pursue a reduced sentence or complete acquittal of your charges
Defenses To Possession Of A Controlled Substance Charges
Possible defenses to possession of controlled substance charges include:
- Providing Proof Of A Prescription: You may provide proof of a prescription in court when you may not have been able to prior to charges.
- Constructive Possession: In this case, there is a possibility that you may be able to avoid a sentence by arguing that there is a lack of proof that the substance actually belongs to you.
- Chain Of Custody Defense: The chain of custody refers to the handling and documentation of the evidence in trials. It is possible to argue that evidence was tampered with or improperly handled at some point during the legal process.
- Violation Of Fourth Amendment Rights: If you believe you have been the victim of an unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement, you have the right to argue that any evidence used in court is unacceptable due to the violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.
Contact The Law Office Of John A. Spellacy
Take the most direct route in navigating charges for possession of a controlled substance. Contact my office today for a free case evaluation.