DAYTONA BEACH DRUG CRIME ATTORNEY
HANDLING DRUG OFFENSES THROUGHOUT VOLUSIA COUNTY
Volusia County and Daytona Beach law officials view drug crimes as a great threat to our communities. Drug offenses are taken very seriously, and those upholding the law seek to punish harshly those in violation of state and federal drug laws. Because of a vital need to crackdown on the industry producing and distributing illegal drugs, more and more individuals are under investigation and placed under arrest daily in the state of Florida.
As State Prosecutors, Attorneys Hager & Schwartz of Hager & Schwartz, P.A. fought to obtain convictions. Today, they use their knowledge of the law and how prosecutors approach drug crimes cases to develop impactful and effective criminal defenses for their clients.
It’s crucial you seek counsel from an experienced Daytona Beach drug crimes attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to develop a hard-hitting defense and fight to preserve your rights if you are either under investigation or have already been charged with a serious drug offense.
DRUG CASES WE HANDLE
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Daytona Beach drug crimes attorneys maintain extensive experience representing individuals charged with a wide range of drug offenses, including:
- Drug Transportation
- Distribution of an Illegal Substance
- Under the Influence of an Illegal Substance
- Illegal Drug Sales
- Drug Possession
- Drug Trafficking
- Cultivation of an Illegal Substance
FLORIDA DRUG LAWS
Florida has several statutes enumerating prohibited behavior involving controlled substances.
Some of Florida’s drug laws include the following:
- Sale, Purchase, Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession with Intent (Florida Statute § 893.13(1)(a)): It is unlawful for any person to produce, sell, or deliver any drug. A person may also be charged with this crime if they possess a drug (or drugs) and intend to sell it.
- Sale, Purchase, Delivery, or Possession in Excess of 10 Grams (Florida Statute § 893.13(1)(b)): This section forbids anyone from selling or delivering more than 10 grams of a controlled substance.
- Drug Crimes in Specified Locations (Florida Statutes §§ 893.13(1)(c) – (f) and (h): If a person commits a controlled substance offense within 1,000 feet of a prohibited area, they may face enhanced penalties. The locations enumerated in the law include:
- Child care facilities
- Public or private schools
- Community centers
- Public recreation centers
- Colleges or universities
- Places of worship
- Public housing facilities
- Manufacturing Methamphetamine (Florida Statute § 893.13(1)(g)): This section specifically concerns the manufacture of meth or phencyclidine. It provides potential penalties for offenses committed under specified conditions.
- Purchase or Possession with Intent to Purchase (Florida Statute § 893.13(2)(a)): According to this section, a person may be penalized for buying or intending to buy drugs.
- Delivery of Drugs to a Minor (Florida Statute § 893.13(4)): Under this section, an adult 18 years of age or older is prohibited from providing controlled substances to a minor under 18 years of age.
- Bringing Drugs into the State (Florida Statute § 893.13(5)): This section provides that it’s unlawful for a person to transport controlled substances from another state into Florida.
- Drug Possession (Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) – (c)): If a person is in actual or constructive control of a drug (or drugs), they could be charged under this section.
- Drug Trafficking (Florida Statute § 893.135): It’s unlawful for a person to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or bring drugs into Florida. What separates offenses committed under this statute from other laws concerning the conduct is the amount of the controlled substance involved.
- Drug Paraphernalia (Florida Statute § 893.147): This law enumerates several types of prohibited conduct involving drug paraphernalia. For instance, it’s illegal to possess, deliver, manufacture, transport, or advertise such instruments.
FLORIDA DRUG SCHEDULES
While there are a number of factors that influence the penalties you might be facing, arguably the most important is the type of substance you’re found with. Controlled substances are sorted into schedules, based on any accepted medical purposes and the potential risk a substance had for addition or abuse.
Drug schedules in Florida include the following:
- Schedule I: These are generally the most severe, including drugs like LSD and heroin, but many people are surprised to learn that Florida considers marijuana as a Schedule I substance.
- Schedule II: These are also highly-addictive substances, including PCP, cocaine, opioids, and certain types of methamphetamines.
- Schedule III: These substances do have some accepted medical uses, but also have a high risk for addiction, including codeine and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV: These are drugs that have widely-accepted medicinal uses but are often obtained illegitimately, such as through prescription fraud, often including Xanax or Valium.
Drug crimes often face significant penalties, including long prison sentences. While first offenses and small amounts of substances are often considered misdemeanor crimes, possessing larger amounts of these substances is often considered a felony that can carry decades’ worth of time behind bars and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Don’t face these consequences alone; trust your case to an experienced Daytona Beach drug crime attorney who can effectively combat your charges and fight to preserve your rights.
PENALTIES FOR DRUG CRIMES IN DAYTONA BEACH, FL
A drug crime conviction can carry steep penalties, even if the offense seemed minor. Punishments can include incarceration and/or fines. The length of time a person may be imprisoned and the monetary penalty assessed depend on the nature of the offense.
Below are a few examples of drug crime penalties:
- Possession of a Schedule V drug: Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
- Up to 60 days in jail and/or
- Up to $500 in fines
- Possession or use of drug paraphernalia: First-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Purchase of a Schedule IV drug: Third-degree felony punishable by:
- Up to 5 years in prison and/or
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Delivering a Schedule III drug to a minor: Second-degree felony punishable by:
- Up to 15 years in prison and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Trafficking in more than 25 pounds of marijuana: First-degree felony punishable by:
- Up to 30 years in prison and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines
DRUG QUANTITY & MARIJUANA CHARGES IN FL
In addition to the severity of the drug, the quantity of the drug in someone’s possession will drastically impact their case. Let’s look at marijuana charges to understand how the quantity impacts charges.
If Florida police charge someone with up to 20 grams of marijuana, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
However, Florida police charge someone with more than 20 grams of marijuana, it’s a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
These charges only apply to marijuana, and other drug possession convictions can have worse penalties (some leading to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in jail)! However, other drug crimes generally have harsher penalties.
TYPES OF ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING FOR DRUG CRIMES
A conviction for a controlled substances offense may lead to incarceration and/or fines. However, some individuals may qualify for alternative sentencing. This option focuses on rehabilitation, as opposed to imprisonment. The justification behind alternative sentencing is that treatment may help people with drug abuse problems better handle their issues. These services may curb addiction, reduce recidivism, and help the individual build relevant skills.
Different alternative sentencing programs are available, and they have similar underlying principles. Generally, the individual will participate in a substance abuse course and be required to report regularly to authorized personnel. After they successfully complete the treatment, their case is dismissed. However, if they do not abide by the program’s conditions, prosecution may recommence, and the individual faces incarceration.
The eligibility criteria for alternative sentencing vary but may require that the defendant:
- Plead guilty
- Be a first-time offender
- Complete a screening
To seek alternative sentencing, the defendant must submit a request to the prosecutor for approval.
BEGIN BUILDING A DEFENSE FOR YOUR DRUG CASE
Certain factors will be examined to determine the sentence for a person convicted of a drug crime, including whether or not the defendant has any prior convictions on their record, the type of drug, and the amount of the drug involved. This puts you at risk for paying large fines, drug rehabilitation, community service, or for serving jail time.
A Daytona Beach drug crimes lawyer from Hager & Schwartz will defend your case aggressively and efficiently, taking every necessary measure to have your charges reduced or dismissed. By working with the legal team from their firm, you can be confident that they will go the distance to ensure that you are truly given the high-quality legal assistance that you deserve.