Cocaine addiction is a huge problem in Florida, where many people are arrested for possession every year. Consequences can be harsh, so it’s crucial to make every effort to work with a skilled lawyer with considerable experience in drug-related cases. Your lawyer’s efforts could spell the difference between jail time, probation, or dismissed charges. Read on to learn more about defending cocaine possession charges in Florida.
Cocaine Possession Penalties
According to Florida statutes, purchasing, selling, manufacturing or even possessing more than 28 grams constitutes a felony known as “trafficking in cocaine.” If you’re deemed guilty of trafficking over 28 grams but less than 200 grams, you’ll face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison, as well as a fine of $50,000. If you possess or distribute over 200 grams, that minimum increases to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Man people accused of drug possession have less than 28 grams at the time of arrest. In such cases, the crime is classified as a second-degree felony. Although penalties aren’t quite as harsh, a conviction can still prove devastating.
How Florida Drug Courts Work
Florida launched the very first drug court in Miami-Dade County in 1989. Since then, drug courts have become a popular solution for rehabilitating non-violent offenders — particularly those struggling with addiction. Drug testing plays a central role in this approach. Participants must also appear in court regularly to ensure their compliance with all program requirements. Those who fail to abide by the program’s terms may find themselves once again in the standard criminal justice system, which could lead to significant time in jail.
Plea Bargaining for Cocaine Cases
In some cases, plea bargains may be available for those who would rather not be subject to a lengthy court procedure. Plea bargaining can often lead to a reduced sentence, as the justice system is typically more lenient towards defendants who are willing to own up to their actions and accept their sentence. The state is more likely to offer a plea bargain if there is clearly enough evidence for a conviction. If the defendant is willing to skip the process of trial, a plea bargain may be the best option.
Approaches to Cocaine Possession Defense
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to drug possession charges in Florida. How your lawyer defends your case will largely depend on specifics such as the arresting officer’s behavior. Common legal defenses in Florida include:
- Failure to read Miranda Rights at the time of arrest
- Improper execution of search warrants
- Unlawful canine searches
- Lack of reasonable suspicion
- Proving actual possession of the drug
The most effective drug crime lawyers utilize an aggressive approach. By fighting assertively for their client’s rights, these lawyers can lessen the impact of drug convictions.
There is no room for error in a cocaine possession case. A single mistake could cause years, even decades of suffering on your part. It is imperative that you work with an experienced attorney capable of aggressively defending your rights in court.
If you’ve been accused of cocaine possession in Northwest Florida, it is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Attorney John Greene can help you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Call 850-424-6833 today or reach out online to schedule a case consultation.