Drug charges can be overwhelming to deal with, especially if there is a felony charge involved. When a person is charged with a serious drug crime, they can face penalties that negatively affect the rest of their life. Those who have been charged with drug crimes need to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer.
What Should Defendants Know About Drug Laws?
Drug laws are getting tougher in the state of Florida, the same as many other states. This is to discourage individuals from breaking the law and becoming repeat offenders. It is important defendants fully understand the laws that are in place in the state so they will be prepared.
There are three statutory elements of a drug charge in the state of Florida and these include:
- The prosecutor must be able to present evidence that states the defendant was in possession of a controlled substance which is defined under Florida’s drug law.
- The prosecutor must be able to prove the defendant knew the drug was a controlled substance or should have been aware.
- The prosecutor must also prove the defendant had complete control of the controlled substance and its location.
The charges a person faces will depend on how much of a controlled substance was in their possession at the time of arrest:
- A misdemeanor charge will be faced if a person was found with 20 grams or less of a controlled substance.
- A third-degree felony possession charge results from a person being in possession of 20 grams or more of a controlled substance.
- A first-degree felony charge results from a person being in the possession of more than 25 pounds of marijuana, 28 grams of cocaine, up to 10 grams of Ecstacy, and up to 1 gram of LSD.
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