If you have been arrested for a drug crime, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney in who can help.
Drug Defense Lawyer
As a criminal defense attorney, I have represented thousands of clients in misdemeanor and felony drug cases. I have worked with and know Florida’s controlled substance laws in the legal process as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer. Criminal defense is now my only area of practice and I am ready to put my experience to work for you.
Contact Robert A. Dees, PA today at 850-439-0999 to discuss how I can help you. I defend people throughout Okaloosa County, including Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, and Destin.
Common Drug Crimes in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, Florida
Some of the most common arrest for drugs include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession with Intent to Sell
- Drug Manufacturing
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Prescription Fraud
- Possession of a Controlled Substance Without a Prescription
If you have been charged with one of the drug offenses, contact me immediately to discuss your options.
A Description of Florida’s Controlled Substance Schedules
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act categorize all drugs into five different schedules. Each is classified based on whether or not it has any accepted medical use in the United States, as well as how dangerous or addictive the narcotic. Drugs in Schedule I are considered the most serious, while those in Schedule V are considered the least serious.
Below is a description of commonly used narcotics from each schedule, according to Fla.Stat. § 893.03:
Drugs in this schedule are highly addictive and have no accepted medical use. Some of these include Heroin, Cannabis, Ecstasy, LSD, and Methadone.
These have a small amount of medical uses in the U.S., but the use is strictly limited due to their high propensity to be abused. Examples of drugs from this schedule include Opium, Cocaine, Codeine, Hydrocodone, and Methamphetamines.
These controlled substances are moderately abused, and have some accepted medical uses in the U.S.
Substances in this schedule are commonly used for medical purposes, and have a lower potential for abuse than the drugs in the schedules above. These drugs include Valium and Xanax.
These drugs have many accepted medical uses, and are thought to be the least dangerous or least likely to be abused. Drugs in this schedule include mixtures and compounds that contain limited amounts of controlled substances.
What Determines the Penalty for Drug Crimes?
The penalties are usually determined by the amount of the substance found. Other factors that can increase penalties are whether a weapon was possessed during the crime, if the controlled substance caused death or serious injury to someone else during the crime, or if the individual has a prior drug arrest history. Also, within a 1000 feet of a school, child care facility, recreational facility, place of worship, or park can also lead to enhanced penalties.
An experienced lawyer like Robert A. Dees, PA will challenge the State of Florida on every element of these offenses.
Penalties for Drug Offenses
The potential penalties for crimes relating to controlled substances are outlined in Fla. Stat. 775.082 and 775.083. Depending on the degree of the charge, the penalties are as follows:
- Second degree misdemeanors can result in up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to a $500.
- First degree misdemeanor, up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Third degree felonies, up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Second degree felony, up to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to a $10,000.
- First degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Life felony, it can lead to 30 years or life behind bars and a fine of up to $15,000.
- For any drug conviction, driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
Defenses to Controlled Substance Charges
Evidence that is found as the result of an illegal search and seizure is not admissible in court. The constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. In places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy (locked trunk or glove compartment) (storage shed) (home), police must usually obtain a warrant before searching these areas. Only an experienced lawyer can identify and raise these issues on your behalf.
As your attorney, I will seek to exclude any evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search.
Resources for Narcotics-Related Offenses
University of Florida Drug Policy Institute: The DPI is part of the UF Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.
Drug Policy Alliance: This nonprofit advocates for drug policies in the United States.
First Judicial Circuit Drug Courts: Information about Drug Courts in the First Circuit (Okaloosa County, Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County)