If accused of even possessing an illegal drug other than a small amount of marijuana or Schedule V (lowest level) drugs in Palm Beach County, you are facing felony charges. It doesn’t matter if it is cocaine, heroin, LSD or one or many prescription drugs for which you do not have a valid prescription. Prison, crippling fines and a lifetime of restrictions due to being labeled a “felon” hang over your head. It is absolutely critical that you act quickly to exercise your options.
If you face charges of possession of a controlled substance, the best decision you can make is to contact an experienced West Palm Beach drug possession lawyer. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we will zealously represent you, whether you decide to seek an option like drug court or fight the charges. We will look out for your best interests during this difficult time.
We are a firm comprised of a former prosecutor and a former public defender who, after going head to head, teamed up to represent those accused of crimes, like drug possession. Call us today at (561) 557-8686 to set up a free consultation. We are proud to represent clients in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and anyone charged in Palm Beach County.
We also represent defendants in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Under Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.13, it is illegal to have either actual possession or constructive possession of any of the drugs listed as controlled substances under Florida law without legal permission. Legal permission may be a prescription.
Controlled substances under the Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.03 include:
It is a third degree felony, unless the narcotic under question falls under Schedule V, which includes certain cough medications with a low amount of codeine, or is 20 grams or less of marijuana. Each of those are first degree misdemeanors.
Possession of larger amount of some narcotics may lead to trafficking charges, which can carry mandatory minimum sentences. For instance, 28 grams or more of cocaine, 10 grams or more of MDMA or 1 gram or more of LSD will lead to a minimum three-year prison sentence.
A person may be charged with possession after Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputies, Florida Highway Patrol, or local police allege to have found the drugs in the person’s actual or constructive possession.
Actual possession means the narcotics were allegedly found on the suspect’s person. For instance, West Palm Beach Police may say that they stopped the suspect, patted him down and found cocaine in his or her pocket.
Constructive possession means the drugs are allegedly to be found in a location where the suspect has exclusive control. For example, you may be charged after Boca Raton Police say they pulled you over and found ecstasy in your trunk. Prosecutors will say that even though the drugs were not within reach, they were in a place where only you would have placed them.
Penalties for a third degree felony, under Florida law, include up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. You may also have your driver’s license suspended for two years. For a first degree misdemeanor, you could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
For possession charges, drug court may be an option for you in Palm Beach County. Drug court is an alternative program where you go through treatment, regularly check in with the court and comply with other restrictions for a year or more. At the end of the program, your charges are dismissed.
Drug court is not always the best option. You must plead guilty to enter the program. If evidence is insufficient or illegally obtained, however, your drug defense attorney can move to suppress the evidence and have the charges dismissed.
If you choose to fight the charges, we, at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., will fight vigorously for you. If you choose drug court, we will work with prosecutors to help you be admitted.
Any felony is a serious charge, and most drug possession cases are felonies. If you face charges for possession of a controlled substance, the best decision you can make is to have skilled legal counsel. A West Palm Beach drug possession lawyer from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can fight for you. Call us today at (561) 557-8686 to set up a consultation.