What are the penalties for possession of cocaine in Florida?
Cocaine has long been a popular drug in South Florida, with money from cocaine thought to have helped build Miami into the thriving metropolis it is today. Given South Florida’s location on the tip of the state, the importation of cocaine and other drugs is rampant in the area. However, since the 1980s, government officials have cracked down on the use, sale, and trafficking of cocaine. Now, cocaine use and sale are serious offenses that can result in several years in prison, fines, and other long term consequences. For this reason, anyone in South Florida facing a charge for the possession, sale, or trafficking of cocaine will need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Types of Cocaine Offenses
Florida Statutes §893.13 prohibits the possession, sale, and trafficking of cocaine. Possession of even just a small amount of cocaine will result in a felony charge. Possession of larger quantities of the drug may be charged as trafficking, which is a first-degree felony. The sale of cocaine is considered a second-degree felony.
Sentences for Cocaine Offenses
Penalties for cocaine offenses vary depending on the nature of the crime and the amount of drugs involved. Defendants caught in possession of less than 28 grams of cocaine will face a third-degree felony. Penalties for a conviction of this magnitude are:
- A maximum of five years of probation
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Loss of your license for one year
Possession of over 28 grams of cocaine will trigger a trafficking charge. First-degree felonies like drug trafficking are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and 30 years of probation, along with a $10,000 fine. All felony offenses can potentially limit your ability to find employment, join the military, or take out educational loans.
Potential Defenses Against Cocaine Charges
If you are facing a cocaine possession or sale charge, you will want to act quickly to protect your legal rights. While these offenses are serious, they can also potentially be defended against successfully. Some possible defenses against a cocaine possession charges include:
- The drugs were found during an unlawful search;
- The drugs did not belong to the defendant and he or she was not aware of their presence;
- Not enough evidence exists to support the charge.
Contact Herman Law, P.A. for more assistance to fight and defend your specific situation.