The possession of an illicit substance is a serious drug crime in the state of Florida, one that is often punished with jail/prison time, hefty fines, probation, community service, and other penalties. The type and amount of the drug allegedly in your possession will play a major role in the possible penalties you face; however, the prosecution will likely seek the maximum allowable penalties.
It is absolutely crucial that you contact a qualified Jacksonville drug possession attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for drug possession. At Monroe & King, P.A., our Jacksonville drug possession lawyers have extensive experience in this area of law, along with a proven track record of success in achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.
Regardless of the complexity and severity of your charges, we can help you craft a personalized defense strategy aimed at protecting your rights. We serve clients throughout Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties, and our team is available around-the-clock to assist you.
Florida Drug Possession Penalties
It is difficult to detail the exact charges you face without a one-on-one consultation, as drug charges in Florida vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the type of drug, the amount possessed, prior convictions, and more. That being said, we’ve provided a general outline of some of the most common drug charges in the state, as well as their corresponding penalties.
Misdemeanor Drug Possession in FL
- Possession of Up to 20 Grams of Marijuana (excludes legal possession of medical marijuana): A first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail plus additional costs and fees
Is Drug Possession a Felony in Florida?
In Florida, the following drug possession offenses are considered felonies:
- Possession of More than 20 Grams of Marijuana: A third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison plus fines
- Possession of More than 25 Pounds of Marijuana: A first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000
- Possession of Up to 28 Grams of Cocaine: A third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison plus fines
- Possession of More than 28 Grams of Cocaine: A first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000
- Possession of Up to 4 Grams of an Opioid (e.g. heroin): A third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison plus fines
- Possession of More than 4 Grams of an Opioid: A first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000
As previously mentioned, this list is not exhaustive nor is it all-inclusive of the potential penalties of drug possession in Florida. You may face enhancements, or more severe penalties, if you have prior convictions or if other specific factors are present.
Defense to Drug Crime Charges in FL
When prosecuting drug charges, authorities must prove the following three elements:
- That the substance was an illicit/controlled substance under Florida state law;
- That the defendant was aware of both the presence of the substance and its illicit nature; and
- That the defendant had control over the substance (i.e. it was on the defendant’s person, in the defendant’s hand, etc.).
When defending against possession charges, our Jacksonville drug possession attorneys often seek to challenge one or more of these elements. For example, we may assert that you were not aware that the alleged substance was illegal or that you did not know the substance was there or that it was not in your control. In the case of marijuana possession, we may be able to argue that you were legally allowed to possess marijuana under Florida’s medical marijuana laws.
The first and most important thing you can do after being arrested for or charged with drug possession in Florida is to contact an experienced Jacksonville drug possession lawyer. Our legal team can help you determine your best options and build a defense to your charges that focuses on protecting your future.
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