A drug possession conviction in Florida can include prison and thousands in fines. When you’ve been arrested on a possession charge, you are probably frightened. But know that you are not alone. With a Pensacola drug possession attorney by your side, you improve your odds of a favorable outcome.

At Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, we have successfully defended many people like yourself in serious drug possession cases. Let an experienced drug crime lawyer review all the evidence and fight to have charges reduced or dismissed.

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Drug Possession in Florida

Florida Statute 893.13 makes it illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance. Types of controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and other drugs, including some prescription medications (unless you have a valid prescription).

Schedules of Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are divided into five categories or schedules. Possession of Schedule I drugs, which are described as having no medical use and a high likelihood of abuse, is the most severe offense.

Possession becomes a less serious charge the higher the schedule of drugs you go. Possession of Schedule V drugs is the least serious. There are hundreds of drugs listed in the schedules, which you can see here.

Constructive Drug Possession

Under Florida drug possession law, you can be arrested even if you don’t have drugs on you or are actively within your reach. This legal doctrine is called constructive possession.

If police believe you knew there was an illegal drug stored or being used at a house party you were attending, as just one example, even if you were not touching it or using it, you could potentially be arrested for constructive possession. You can also be charged for possessing drug paraphernalia, such as hypodermic needles, bongs, and scales for measuring drugs.

Drug Possession Penalties in Florida

Florida takes drug possession seriously. Whether a drug possession case is a misdemeanor or felony depends on the type of drug and its quantity. However, drug possession charges can rise when specific aggravating factors are present. They include if you have a prior record, intended to sell or traffic drugs, had drugs near a school or playground, and others.

Misdemeanor Drug Possession

Drug paraphernalia, 20 grams or less of marijuana, Schedule V substances. Up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Third-Degree Felony Drug Possession

Schedule III and IV drugs, some Schedule I or II drugs, possessing a controlled substance without a prescription. Up to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.

Second-Degree Felony Drug Possession

Specific Schedule I and II drugs. Up to 15 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.

First-Degree Felony Drug Possession

Over 10 grams of Schedule I drugs—up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additional Consequences of Drug Possession

Jail time and fines are not the only consequences of a drug possession conviction in Florida. You will also likely have your driver’s license suspended and have a criminal record that will follow you throughout your life. This can make getting a job, finding housing, and even getting a credit card or bank loan challenging.

First-Offense Drug Possession in Florida

Fortunately for first-time offenders in drug possession cases, there are alternatives to permanent convictions and jail time, such as drug rehab and probation. Individuals who complete drug court without violating its rules and regulations may have charges dismissed.

Pre-trial diversion is another sentencing alternative in which you perform community service, submit to regular drug testing, and adhere to other guidelines. If you have been arrested on a drug possession charge for the first time, we will help you pursue a sentencing alternative.

How a Drug Possession Lawyer Helps

When you’ve been arrested for drug possession in Pensacola, Florida, getting the help of an attorney with a strong background in resolving drug charges can mean the difference in your case.

Drug possession lawyer Josef Mitkevicius has had considerable success defending clients in all levels of Pensacola possession cases.  Depending on your circumstances, he will fight for your innocence, a case dismissal, or to get you a reduced charge and, consequently, lower penalties.

Working closely with an experienced Florida drug possession attorney is crucial in cases like these. Your lawyer can help you evaluate the evidence and build a strong defense against the prosecution’s argument that you had illegal drugs. We then develop a defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.

Here are some recent results in Pensacola drug possession cases:

  • Charges were dismissed for a client facing 5 years of felony possession.
  • Case dismissed against individual facing 1 year for marijuana possession.
  • Charge reduced for client faced with 5 years in cocaine possession case.

More Results

Defending Against Drug Possession

A dedicated drug possession defense lawyer in Pensacola, FL, is here for you if you’ve been arrested. We will determine the strongest defense based on all the evidence and facts. Here are some possible defenses we may utilize for drug possession charges in Florida.

Lack of Possession or Knowledge

If you did not knowingly possess drugs or were not knowingly in their presence, you may have a defense based on lack of knowledge. Once we speak with you, we will advise if this may be an appropriate defense.

Improper Search and Seizure

The U.S. Constitution protects people from illegal searches and seizures by law enforcement. If we can determine that officers acted improperly in searching for drugs on your person or property, we may be able to have this evidence thrown out.

Chain of Custody Violation

Law enforcement is supposed to handle evidence in drug possession cases in precise ways. It may be inadmissible if they violated the protocol when documenting, transporting, storing, or otherwise handling the evidence.

Pensacola Drug Possession FAQs.

Can a drug possession charge affect my employment or professional license?

A drug possession conviction could affect your employment or professional license, as employers and licensing agencies are allowed by law to consider criminal histories. Our law firm can help you determine possible options if you are being denied a license or employment.

Can I expunge a drug possession conviction in Pensacola?

Florida does allow drug possession conviction histories to be expunged. First-time offenses involving small amounts of drugs are typically eligible for expungement. If you have had previous convictions or were charged and convicted for possessing large quantities of a drug, you may not qualify. Expungement is very case-specific—our drug possession attorney in Pensacola can advise you whether you may be eligible based on your circumstances.

What is the difference between possession and possession with intent to sell?

A possession charge with intent to sell or traffic drugs is a more severe charge than a simple possession. When you are charged with drug possession, it is assumed the drug is for your use. Having a large amount of drugs on you, certain types of drug paraphernalia such as measuring tools and scales, and items used for packaging drugs can see charges rise to possession with intent to sell to other people.

Fight Your Drug Possession Charge – Call Today

A drug possession conviction limits your future and may lead to time behind bars. However, a conviction is not guaranteed, even though it may feel like it is. You can defend yourself with the help of Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, and an experienced Pensacola drug possession attorney.

Contact our office today at 850-361-2142 for a free consultation. Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius will use his 10+ years of experience to help you get a fair outcome.