Being convicted of a drug crime in Florida can result in serious criminal penalties, not to mention the outside consequences of having a drug conviction on your record.
In limited circumstances, the prosecutor could agree to dismiss or lessen your charges if a valid legal defense applies in your case.
Hiring a qualified attorney to prepare a strategy for presenting your legal defense offers the best opportunity of obtaining a favorable result. Contact our office today to discuss your case.
Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell in Florida: An Overview
Florida enforces strict drug laws throughout the state. In some cases, mere possession of a controlled substance constitutes a felony offense.
Under Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a), possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell operates as an enhanced form of a possession charge and can result in a felony or misdemeanor conviction.
Possession with intent to sell in Florida requires prosecutors to prove not only that you had possession of the controlled substance, but that you intended to sell, manufacture, or deliver the controlled substance to someone else.
Defenses to Possession with Intent to Sell in Florida
In some cases, demonstrating that the defendant intended to sell, manufacture, or distribute a controlled substance proves difficult for the prosecutor. Factors a prosecutor may attempt to use to demonstrate your intention to sell the controlled substance include:
- The amount of the controlled substance;
- The packaging of the controlled substance;
- Statements made by you or others;
- The presence of paraphernalia, such as scales or baggies;
- Large amounts of cash found near the controlled substance; and
- The presence of packaging supplies near the controlled substance.
You can establish that you weren’t intending to sell, manufacture, or distribute the controlled substance by presenting evidence of that fact. Without proving intent, the prosecutor lacks the ability to convict you under this section.
Other defenses to a charge of possession with intent include that the substance found was not a controlled substance, that you did not possess the substance, or that the police located the substance or obtained statements from you by violating your constitutional rights.
Penalties for Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell in Florida
The length of your possession with intent to sell sentence depends on the amount and type of drugs found. Those accused of selling marijuana typically face the lower level third-degree felony.
Alternatively, defendants accused of selling cocaine or meth often face more serious second-degree felony charges. In some very rare cases, possession with intent may be charged as a misdemeanor offense.
Misdemeanor offenses in Florida carry the potential of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Third-degree felonies in Florida carry the potential of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Second-degree felonies carry the potential of up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Any conviction for drug possession in Florida will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Contact a Florida Drug Crimes Lawyer Today
At Orlando Defense, we understand that facing criminal charges is an incredibly stressful experience. We’re here to help you every step of the way. If you were charged with possession with intent to sell in Florida, you should contact an attorney right away.
The penalties associated with this crime can result in a significant period behind bars. Hiring a drug crimes lawyer to represent you provides the best chance of having your charges reduced or dismissed.
As a former public defender who has been a lawyer for more than 20 years, Attorney Jeffrey Higgins possesses extensive experience representing defendants facing drug charges and has a commitment to advocating for clients facing criminal charges.
Call or email our office today for your free consultation.