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 Possession Lawyers in Orlando

Defending Your Rights and Reputation in Court

Drug possession is one of the most common drug-related charges in the country. While possession of a controlled substance may be common, the penalties for a possession conviction can still be severe. When facing possession charges, jail time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record are all possibilities. Fortunately, all individuals have the right to legal representation, and hiring a team of Orlando drug possession lawyers is the best way to protect yourself and your rights.

Whether you were charged with possession of cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, or other illegal substances, a drug possession conviction can change your life for good. Many convicted criminals find it difficult to secure housing or find a job because of unfair discrimination. A simple mistake or a one-time run-in with the cops could mean the difference between living your everyday life and spending years in jail. Our team at Alain Rivas & Associates, P.A., is dedicated to ensuring that doesn’t happen.

An experienced drug possession lawyer on our team will review the facts of your case, examining every piece of evidence against you. We will then develop a legal strategy to determine the best path forward, whether that’s negotiating with prosecutors for a plea deal or defending your case in court. Please don’t feel like you must navigate the legal system on your own. Call a criminal defense lawyer on our team at 407-934-0324.

What Does a Drug Possession Lawyer Do?

It can be frightening to face drug possession charges. By enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney on our team, you can rest assured that we will navigate the legal system while defending your rights the whole way.

As your criminal defense attorneys, our team will take the following steps:

Investigate the Circumstances of Your Arrest

Every citizen has rights, even if they are being arrested or detained. Our team will examine the evidence that was used to arrest or detain you for drug possession. If your rights were infringed upon in any way, we may be able to use that in your defense.

Reduce Your Charges or Penalties

Our main goal will always be to get your case dismissed, but we will also work to reduce the penalties or charges you are facing. Our team will meet with the prosecution to discuss your case and whether a plea deal can be negotiated.

Represent You in Court

If your case goes to trial, our team will spend time developing a solid legal defense strategy before your hearing. The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and we will work to gather evidence in your defense. Then, our team will present this defense before a judge and jury.

Submit an Appeal

If you are convicted of drug possession, our team can potentially submit an appeal on your behalf. An appeal asks a judge for a new trial due to error or unlawfulness. If the appeal is accepted, you may be granted a new trial with a new verdict.

What Are the Potential Penalties for Drug Possession Charges?

The penalties for possession depend on the nature of your charges and your prior record. Drug crime charges are considered severe in the criminal justice system, and many carry harsh penalties, including years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

Below are the potential penalties for different types of drug possession cases:

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is a charge assigned to individuals who are found with the tools to use drugs. Possession of paraphernalia can also include manufacturing, advertising, transporting, and delivering drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia can consist of scales, bags, pipes, syringes, bongs, spoons, and rolling papers.

If you are charged with possession of paraphernalia, you could face one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Possession of Marijuana

Marijuana possession is one of the most common drug possession charges. If you are found with up to 20 grams of marijuana, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. You could face one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

If you are found with more than 20 grams of marijuana, it is a third-degree felony. Felony possession can carry severe penalties, including five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

Delivery of a controlled substance is when police officers have a reasonable suspicion that the amount of drugs in your possession is more than you could use on your own. Delivery does not require a monetary transaction but only an attempted transfer. Penalties vary depending on the amount of controlled substances found in your possession.

Unlawful Possession of Listed Chemicals

Listed chemicals describe the chemicals that are used to manufacture illegal substances, like methamphetamine or ecstasy. It is a second-degree felony and can carry penalties like prison time of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Drug Trafficking

Individuals can be assigned drug trafficking charges if the amount of drugs in their possession reaches a certain threshold. This threshold varies depending on the state you are in and the controlled substance you are found with. Depending on the nature of your charges, punishments for trafficking can range from one to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000.

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Under 21

Possession of alcohol is often classified as drug possession. A first offense is a second-degree misdemeanor and can carry penalties like fines of up to $500 and 60 days in jail. It can also have six months probation and a driver’s license revocation for at least six months.

Any subsequent offenses are a first-degree misdemeanor. First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, 12 months of probation, and a driver’s license revocation of two years.

What Are the Most Common Defenses Against Drug Possession?

While being arrested for drug possession can be frightening, you are innocent until prosecutors prove you guilty. Our team will work with you to create reasonable doubt during the trial so you cannot be convicted. While your specific defense strategy will depend upon the nature of your charges and the details of your case, some common defenses against drug possession may be relevant to you.

The most common defenses against drug possession charges include the following:

Unlawful Search and Seizure

Police officers must have a search warrant or probable cause to search your person, vehicle, or home. If officers searched you illegally, meaning they disobeyed the law in favor of making an arrest, our team could argue that the entire case against you is faulty.

Miranda Rights Violation

Before being questioned by the police, law officers are required to read you your Miranda Rights and ensure you understand them. If the police questioned you without reading you your rights, the criminal defense attorneys on our team can use that to prove that the case against you isn’t sound.

Accepted Medical Use

In Florida, certain patients are allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons. Medical marijuana is legal, but you must have a prescription and the proper documentation for it. If you were arrested for marijuana possession but have a legitimate medical reason for using it, our team can use this in your defense strategy.

Illegal Entrapment

Entrapment is often used as a defense when individuals are arrested after a sting operation. Officers will sometimes use undercover cops to entrap alleged criminals. However, our team can argue that because a police officer was involved, the case hinges upon faulty evidence.

Inaccurate Lab Analyses

When drugs are taken in for evidence, the crime lab will test them to ensure they are actually controlled substances. If there is any question about the crime lab or how the drugs were tested, our attorneys can argue that this inaccuracy taints the entire case against you.

Missing Evidence

In many cases, especially in large cities, evidence of an alleged crime goes missing. There may be an instance where the integral piece of evidence against you disappears from storage. If this happens, our team can use that in your defense, citing improper procedures.


For some drug possession cases, the simple defense of innocence works best. Maybe an eyewitness got confused and named you by accident, or perhaps the officers miscalculated how many drugs you were in possession of. Our team will review your case to determine if this is a valid defense strategy for you.

What Must Prosecutors Prove in a Drug Possession Case?

In a drug possession case, there are three main elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. As your drug possession lawyer, a member of our team will develop a legal defense strategy to introduce doubt about one or all of these elements.

Below are the factors that prosecutors must prove during a drug possession case:

Possession of a Controlled Substance

At its core, a possession charge cannot be proven unless prosecutors can show proof that what you had was an illegal substance. Prosecutors must present evidence of this substance, which often includes scientific analyses from a crime lab. Evidence from a crime lab can be misconstrued or falsified.

The arresting officer will likely test the material before you are arrested, but those results must be confirmed. If you have a valid prescription for marijuana or other medications, then what you possess is not a controlled substance.

Knowledge of Possession

Not only must prosecutors prove that you had the illegal substance on or with you, but they must also prove that you knew about the substance and you knew it was illegal. If someone sneaks a bag of drugs into your bag, for instance, then our team could argue that you had no knowledge of the controlled substance on your person.

It’s important to note that simple ignorance of the law is not a valid defense for this element. Prosecutors must prove that you knew or should have known that the substance was illegal. Most people of sound mind understand which substances are generally unlawful to possess.

Control of the Substance

Control refers to ownership of the presence and location of the drug. While many drug possession charges are assigned when a drug is found on an individual’s person, control can also refer to storing a drug in your locker at work or stashing drugs in your vehicle. Prosecutors must prove that you had control over the substance and its location to establish possession.

What Consequences Will a Drug Conviction Have on My Life?

Being convicted of any crime can impact your life in many ways. After a drug crime conviction, you will have a permanent criminal record that follows you around for life. Your admission to some colleges and trade schools may be negatively impacted by a drug conviction, especially if the school has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.

Some drug crime convictions also require defendants to surrender their driver’s licenses for up to two years. During this time, you will be unable to drive, making it difficult to find employment or enroll in education. However, a drug crime lawyer on our team can help you get a restricted license during this time if you need one.

Certain types of employment may be off the table for you, including teaching positions, law enforcement positions, and government jobs. Other employers may unfairly discriminate against you, refusing to hire you because of your criminal record.

Having a criminal conviction on your record can negatively affect your life in many ways, even if it is a simple drug possession charge. The best way to protect your future is to contact our law firm immediately if you are facing possession charges.

How Can a Drug Possession Attorney Help Me?

Drug possession is one of the most common drug crime charges in the country, and it has the ability to affect your life in many ways. Jail time, fines, and a license revocation are all possibilities if you are convicted of a drug crime. While defending yourself in court might seem like a viable option, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and your freedom by hiring a team of Orlando drug possession lawyers.

At Alain Rivas & Associates, P.A., we have over 27 years of experience in the criminal defense industry. We know the ins and outs of court, having defended numerous clients from drug possession charges. We are confident that with our knowledge and legal background, we can reduce or even remove the penalties you are facing. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 407-934-0324.