Strategic Defense,
Resolute Advocacy
Your Path to Justice
Strategic Defense,
Resolute Advocacy
Your Path to Justice
Strategic Defense,
Resolute Advocacy
Your Path to Justice

Drug Crime Lawyers in Orlando

Helping Clients Reduce or Remove Charges Against Them

If you are caught with illegal substances that you are selling, delivering, or even simply possessing, you could be charged with a drug crime. In Florida, the state has a list of controlled substances that are illegal to possess and travel with. The list includes street drugs like marijuana, MDMA, LSD, and methamphetamine and can also include prescription medications. Drug crimes carry serious penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, and other consequences.

When you are facing drug crime charges, the best way to protect your freedom and avoid penalties is by hiring a criminal defense attorney. At Alain Rivas & Associates, P.A., our team has over 27 years of experience defending our clients in court to reduce or remove the consequences they are facing. We are dedicated to fighting for our clients and protecting their rights when facing drug penalties. For more information about drug offenses and to receive a free consultation, contact our law office today by calling 407-934-0324.

Which Drug Charges Are the Most Common?

There are many types of drug offenses you can be charged with. In Florida, the most common offenses include drug possession, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or deliver, the sale and delivery of a controlled substance, and trafficking a controlled substance. Each drug charge carries its own potential penalties, so it’s essential to understand exactly what you are charged with.

Below are the major differences between each drug charge:

Drug Possession

Possession of a controlled substance is one of the most common drug offenses in the country. To be charged with controlled substance possession, the substance must simply be on or around you. In many drug crime cases, offenders are arrested because of drugs in their vehicles, not drugs in their pockets or purses.

Prosecutors can charge someone with actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession is when a drug is in your pocket, wallet, hand, or purse. Constructive possession is when a drug is nearby, like in the glove compartment of your vehicle, in a jar in your kitchen, or lying on a coffee table in your living room.

Possession With Intent to Sell or Deliver

Possession with the intent to sell or deliver means that law enforcement finds enough drugs on you to reasonably believe you were attempting to sell or transport them. The intent to sell or deliver typically increases the penalties. If law enforcement finds drugs wrapped in individual baggies or packaged individually, they will typically charge someone with the intent to sell or deliver.

Sale and Delivery of a Controlled Substance

In many cases, the sale and delivery of a controlled substance charge involves sting operations and undercover agents. If law enforcement believes that an individual is selling drugs to another person (also called “dealing”), they will attempt to charge them with sale and delivery. This charge carries hefty fines and other penalties, like jail time.

Trafficking a Controlled Substance

Trafficking simply means possessing a large amount of drugs, typically with the intent to transport them. Drug trafficking is often thought of as a charge only used for criminal organizations that transport drugs from state to state. However, simply being caught with a large amount of a controlled substance can qualify you for a drug trafficking charge.

The amount of drugs you must possess to receive a drug trafficking charge varies from state to state. It also depends on the type of controlled substance you are caught with.

What Are the Five Drug Categories?

The five drug categories, also called schedules, categorize controlled substances and the charges you can face when caught with them. Schedule I drugs carry the most severe penalties, while Schedule V drugs have the least severe penalties.

Below are the five schedules and their differences:

  • Schedule I Drugs: Chemicals or substances with a high potential for abuse. Includes heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, and ecstasy.
  • Schedule II Drugs: Substances or chemicals with a high potential for abuse that can lead to psychological or physical dependence. Includes cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Adderall, Ritalin, fentanyl, and oxycodone.
  • Schedule III Drugs: Chemicals or substances with a moderate to low potential for abuse. Includes ketamine, testosterone, and anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule IV Drugs: Substances with a low risk of abuse and a low potential for dependence. Includes Xanax, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Darvon.
  • Schedule V Drugs: Substances with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs. Includes Motofen, cough syrup, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.

What Are the Potential Penalties for a Drug Crime Conviction?

The penalties for a drug crime conviction depend on the charges against you and your criminal history. For most drug offense charges, the penalties include jail or prison time and expensive fines. Federal charges are often more severe than state charges, as are felony charges.

For some drug cases, judges have to give out minimum mandatory sentences. Oftentimes, this leads to convicted criminals spending at least a few years in jail plus paying thousands of dollars in fines. Florida is particularly harsh on drug crimes, even if the offender has no prior record. Most drug crimes include the loss of your license and the inability to work in particular fields.

What Does a Drug Crime Attorney Do?

When facing drug crime charges, the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be penalized. As your attorneys, our team will develop a legal defense strategy to protect your rights in court. We will begin by investigating all the evidence against you, including witness statements, photos, videos, and law enforcement testimonies.

For some drug-related charges, the prosecution is willing to negotiate and reach a plea deal. Most often, these deals are made with the stipulation that the offender pleads guilty and also gives up information about another criminal act. Depending on your circumstances, a criminal defense attorney on our team may negotiate with prosecutors to reach a deal in your best interest.

If a plea deal is not viable or not a good option, our team will build a defense strategy to present before a judge in court. If your case goes to trial, our legal team will defend your rights and aim to get your case dismissed or get a not-guilty verdict.

Should I Hire a Drug Crime Lawyer?

Drug crimes carry severe penalties, including prison time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you are facing drug-related criminal charges, the best way to protect yourself and your freedom is by hiring a criminal defense attorney. The criminal justice system is particularly harsh on drug-related crimes, even if it is your first offense.

Please don’t feel like you must navigate this challenging situation on your own. Our team at Alain Rivas & Associates, P.A., is confident that we can assist you when facing drug charges. To receive a free consultation, contact us today at 407-934-0324.