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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) 592-5885or through our online contact formto 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.

Cannabis Possession< 20 grams1st degree misdemeanor
Cannabis Possession> 20 grams3rd degree felony
Cocaine Possession< 28 grams3rd degree felony
MDMA Possession< 10 grams3rd degree felony
Heroin Possession< 4 grams3rd degree felony
LSD< 1 gram3rd degree felony


Sale of Cannabis3rd degree felony
Sale of Cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school or church2nd degree felony
Sale of Cocaine2nd degree felony
Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet or church1st degree felony
Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school1st degree felony (3 year minimum prison sentence)

Drug Trafficking

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.

Trafficking in Cannabis (First-degree felony)Mandatory Minimum Sentence
In excess of 25, but less than 2,000 pounds or 300 or more cannabis plants3 Years + $25,000 fine
2,000 pounds, but less than 10,000 pounds or 2,000 or more cannabis plants7 Years + $50,000 fine
10,000 pounds or more or 10,000 or more cannabis plants15 Years + $200,000 fine



Trafficking in Cocaine (First-degree felony)Mandatory Minimum Sentence
28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams3 Years + $25,000 fine
200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams7 Years + $100,000 fine
400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms15 Years + $250,000 fine
Trafficking in Heroin (First-degree felony)Mandatory Minimum Sentence
4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams3 Years + $50,000 fine
14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams15 Years + $100,000 fine
28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms25 Years + $500,000 fine

Drug Court

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) 592-5885to arrange to discuss your drug charges today. 

Meet The Attorneys Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides
    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.
    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.
    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.

CLient Testimonials

Hear From Real People We've Helped

At Morris Law Firm, P.A., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "Look no further than Morris Law"
    Seth Shapiro is the most professional, courteous, caring attorneys I’ve dealt with in all of my 70 years. He did a fabulous job representing me defending me and getting charges dropped. I couldn’t have dreamed of better counsel.
    - Stephen on AVVO
    "100% satisfied with Morris Law Group."
    100% satisfied with Morris law group. Melinda was able to resolve my legal issues with no additional expenses other than my original retainer. I highly recommend this firm for professional and competent representation.
    - Peter R. on Yelp
    "Best legal representation"
    If you want the best legal representation, look no further than Morris law firm. Melinda reassured me from the very first time we spoke over the phone. She is very professional and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. I really liked that I didn’t have to reach out to her Everything was smooth, straightforward and she put my mind at ease. You’ll be in good hands with her. Thank you Melinda
    - Hassan on Google
    "Thanks to The Morris Law Firm"
    Mr.Shapiro helped my case by looking at the police body cam diligently which supported my testimony . He presented evidence to the prosecutor .I hired Seth Shapiro to defend me after a domestic battery charge in which I was wrongfully accused and arrested. My case was dismissed thankfully. .Couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was an extreme difficult time for me. Seth Shapiro was knowledgeable and compassionate in my case. He followed up with my concerns. I would highly recommend this firm.
    - Melody Z.
    "Goes above and beyond"
    Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring her.
    - Shasta on Google
    "They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful."
    Morris Law Firm is a very professional and responsive. They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful. Strongly recommend them especially Seth Shapiro. He decreased my case from felony to misdemeanor in short terms and during 6 months my case was totally closed.
    - Elina P. on Google