St. Petersburg Drug Charge Defense Attorneys
Bring Your Case to a Former Pinellas County Prosecutor
Drug charges are among the most common criminal cases heard in Florida courts. These cases range from simple possession of marijuana to charges involving unauthorized prescription drugs and harder drugs such as heroin. Drug arrests are a serious matter in the Sunshine State as Florida has harsh penalties for drug offenses.
At Morris Law Firm, P.A., you can find representation from a former prosecutor in Pinellas County. Attorney Melinda Morris was responsible for prosecuting a wide range of drug charges, handling those cases from investigation through trial. Her inside knowledge of the system can be of critical importance and benefit to the defense of your case.
Connect with a St. Petersburg drug charge defense lawyer at (727) 592-5885 or through our online contact form to schedule your case evaluation. Serving Pinellas, Hillsborough, and surrounding counties.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
If you or someone you know has been arrested or is under investigation for a state or federal drug crime, it is vital that you seek trusted legal representation. You could be at risk for jail or prison time and heavy fines. Drug crime convictions will leave you with a permanent criminal record that can negatively affect your future in terms of various opportunities. Because such a record is available on a routine background check, you may have difficulties finding employment or housing or being accepted for higher education, financial aid, or a professional license. Felony convictions can also result in a loss of such civil rights as gun ownership and the right to vote. These convictions can also have negative immigration consequences for noncitizens, such as deportation.
Drug Offenses in Florida
Drug crimes in the state include all those listed under Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes. These substances are listed in “schedules” according to their addictiveness and risk of abuse. They include such drugs as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, methamphetamine, LSD, opium, PCP, and prescription drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, Adderall, Xanax, morphine, and fentanyl. If you are in possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription, you can be charged and prosecuted.
Drug charges that you could face involving any controlled substance include:
- Simple possession
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to sell
- Cultivation or manufacture of drugs
- Drug trafficking
Unfortunately, under most circumstances, possessing a controlled substance in the Sunshine State is charged as a felony in state as well as federal courts. Only possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor. If you are found with more than 20 grams of marijuana, you will face a third-degree felony. You will also face this charge if you are found with up to 28 grams of cocaine, up to 4 grams of heroin, up to 10 grams of MDMA (Ecstasy), or up to a gram of LSD. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. Additional consequences can include probation, mandatory substance abuse treatment, random drug testing, and community service hours.
Drug trafficking is the most serious of all drug crimes as it involves large-scale drug operations such as importing, selling, and transporting these substances across state or national borders. Federal drug trafficking convictions can lead to mandatory minimum sentences of up to 25 years with fines of up to $500,000, depending on the type of drug involved as well as the quantity and other circumstances.
First-time offenders and those convicted of low-level nonviolent drug crimes may be eligible for a drug court program. These are voluntary programs that provide an alternative to jail and prison time for substance abusers. These programs involve drug treatment, rehabilitation, and random testing while under court supervision.
More About Drug Charges
It is important to know that, in order to be convicted of a drug offense, the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in actual or “constructive” possession of the substance. “Constructive” in this sense means that the drugs were under your control, such as in the glove box of your car, in your home, office, or in another location that you controlled.
Various valid defenses can be used in drug offense cases including illegal search and seizure, entrapment, the drugs were not yours, and more. At Morris Law Firm, P.A., our experienced legal team can conduct a thorough investigation into how and why you were arrested and other facets of the matter. We can detect and gather any evidence favorable to you that may put the prosecution’s case into doubt.
Turn to Morris Law Firm, P.A. for the Help You Need
Once you have been arrested for a drug crime, your entire life can become negatively changed. It is imperative that you begin building your defense against these life-changing consequences as early in your case as possible. Our St. Petersburg drug charge defense lawyers have decades of combined experience dealing with such charges; we have the know-how, insight, and determination to ensure you have the best chance of success in preserving your freedom and future.
Get the benefit of our experience and dedication. Call us at (727) 592-5885 to arrange to discuss your drug charges today.
FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR
Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.
We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.
TRUSTED & EXPERIENCED
Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.
We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.
You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.
SAME DAY REPRESENTATION
The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.