Tampa Drug Possession Attorney
Defense for Misdemeanor and Felony Possession Charges
According to § 893.147 and 893.149 of the Florida Statutes, it is illegal to possess a listed chemical or drug paraphernalia. These statutes make it illegal to possess, knowingly or intentionally, a listed chemical for use in manufacturing a controlled substance or to possess "paraphernalia" which could include objects used to manufacture, cultivate, package, etc. an illegal narcotic. It is also illegal to possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.
§ 893.13 specifically lists all the prohibited acts involving drugs and their corresponding penalties. If you have been arrested or charged with possession, a Tampa drug possession lawyer from Taracks & Associates can provide you with an aggressive defense.
Drug possession charges range in severity primarily based on three factors:
- Prior convictions
- Amount of the controlled substance / listed chemical
- Type or "schedule" of the substance
Possessing a chemical used to manufacture a controlled substance is a second degree felony. The specific chemicals that are illegal to possess for this purpose can be found in § 893.033 of the Florida Statutes. Some of those chemicals include methylamine, benzyl chloride and toluene. Possession of already-manufactured narcotic drugs can be charged in different degrees depending on the drug's schedule and the amount.
Penalties for Possession, Possession with Intent & Related Offenses
Possessing a Listed Chemical
Florida law makes it a second degree felony to possess a listed chemical with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Florida law makes it a first degree misdemeanor to use or to possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia for the purpose of cultivating, manufacturing, processing, packaging or using (by injection, inhaling, etc.).
Possession with Intent
Florida law makes it illegal to possess a narcotic drug with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver that substance. Possession with intent charges range in severity:
- Second degree felony: Possession with intent involving most drugs (and their salts/isomers) classified as Schedule I or Schedule II. Specifically, drugs that warrant these second degree felony charges are those found under s. 893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c)4.
- Third degree felony: Possession with intent involving some drugs (and their salts/isomers) classified as Schedule I, II, III and IV. Specifically, drugs that warrant these second degree felony charges are those found under s. 893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)5., (2)(c)6., (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (3), or (4).
- First degree misdemeanor: Possession with intent involving most drugs (and their salts/isomers) classified as Schedule V.
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
There is a huge difference against actual drug possession charges versus constructive drug possession charges. Actual possession refers to the drugs that law enforcement found on your actual person. This could include carrying a substance in your pockets, your backpack, etc. Constructive possession refers to drugs found in an area that causes law enforcement to believe that you are the owner, even though the substance was not on your actual person. For example, this could include illegal narcotics that law enforcement found in the car you were driving. Constructive possession is more difficult to prove that actual possession. To prove that you are guilty of constructive possession, the prosecution will have to prove three things: 1) you knew about the drugs in that location, 2) you knew that the possession was illegal and 3) you were responsible or the person "in control" of those drugs.
Tampa Drug Lawyer Defending Against Possession Charges
It is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. A Tampa drug possession attorney from our law firm can utilize proven and effective tactics for your defense. Even before your case goes to criminal trial, we may be able to file a motion to suppress certain pieces of evidence that the state is attempting to use to convict you. For example, if there was an unlawful search and seizure because of a lack of a search warrant or other improper police procedure, then the evidence that search yielded could be dismissed. Without certain pieces of evidence, your charges may not be able to stand.
Taracks & Associates could also fight to get your charges reduced to a lesser drug charge. One type of negotiation we could implement is a plea bargain. If it is necessary for a case to go to trial, our Tampa drug possession attorney will fight aggressively so that you get the best possible outcome to your case. To learn more about how our firm could help you, call today and receive a free case evaluation.
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