Drug possession, sometimes called possession of a controlled substance, is a very serious offense in Florida. There are several types of possession crimes you can be charged with, including possession of drug paraphernalia, drug possession, or possession with intent to sell. The penalties vary depending on a variety of factors such as the type of offense, the specific drug, and the amount of the drug involved.
Possession of drug paraphernalia, for example, can refer to almost any item, if it is being used in connection with drugs. Examples include baggies, bongs, cigars, pipes, and rolling paper. It is important to remember that these items are only considered illegal if they are being used in connection with illegal drugs. When they are not being used in conjunction with illegal drugs and as long as they do not contain drug residue, these items are legal. Possession of drug paraphernalia is usually a misdemeanor level charge.
Drug possession charges are made when an individual is in possession of a controlled substance (PCS) such as marijuana (cannabis), cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, GHB, or other illegal drug. However, certain controlled substances available by prescription can also lead to a drug possession charge if the individual in possession does not have a valid prescription. Examples of such controlled substances include, but are not limited to, narcotics such as Vicodin or Percocet. PCS can be a misdemeanor or felony level charge depending on the amount and circumstances.
Possession with intent to sell is generally the most serious type of possession charge and is almost always considered a felony. The level or “degree” of the felony is determined by the type of drug and other factors such as the location in which the offense occurred. Being near a school, church, or park, for example, can increase the severity of the charge.
The impact that jail or prison time, fines, and probation can have on your life should not be underestimated. However, there is more to consider when you are facing these charges. Having a drug possession conviction on your criminal record can irreparably damage your reputation. Your personal and professional life can be permanently limited as a result.
For example, certain types of professional licenses can be temporarily or permanently suspended or revoked if you are convicted of drug possession. You may also find yourself ineligible for student financial aid as a result of your conviction. Either of these situations can have a lifelong impact on the opportunities that are available to you.
The longer you wait to contact a criminal defense attorney, the more time you are giving the prosecution to strengthen their case against you. It is important that you contact our firm as soon as possible if you have been charged with drug possession in the Orlando metro area. We are happy to provide free consultations to individuals facing drug possession charges.