Drug Crimes

At The Ansara Law Firm, our experienced criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented many clients facing misdemeanor and felony drug charges in Broward County.

If you have been charged with a drug offense, it is imperative that you contact a Fort Lauderdale defense attorney as soon as possible. This will help to ensure your rights are protected and all possible legal maneuvering can be done to dispute the allegations or reduce potential penalties.

When someone waits too long before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, they run the risk of potentially providing law enforcement with incriminating information that can be used against them, or failing to preserve certain evidence that could work in their favor.

Hiring a good defense attorney to help fight drug charges can have a marked effect on the outcome of your case.

Drug Crime Practice Areas

Among the areas of practice our Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers have extensive experience:

We work tirelessly to defend clients who are accused of involvement with possession, manufacture, sale or distribution of:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine/Crystal Meth
  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Prescription Drugs (Xanax, Valium, Hydrocodone, Roxycodone, Oxycodone)
  • Paraphernalia of Drugs (i.e., pipes, scales, baggies, etc.)
Drug Crime Penalties in Florida

The possible penalties a defendant will face in a drug crime case are going to depend heavily on things like the type of drug involved, the amount of the drug and, if alleged sale is involved, where that sale or distribution occurred. A person’s prior criminal record can also play a significant role.

F.S. 893.13 details prohibited acts and penalties related to drug crimes. Except as authorized in F.S. 499, nobody is allowed to sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.

Florida divides its controlled substances into five “schedules,” based on their degree of dangerousness and propensity for abuse. This is done in F.S. 893.03.

  • Schedule I (heroin, GHB, 173 others) – Highest potential for abuse, no accepted medical use.
  • Schedule II (opium, morphine) – High potential for abuse with severe dependence; accepted medical use with tight restrictions.
  • Schedule III (anabolic steroids) – Potential for abuse, though less severe than the others; accepted medical use, even if it may lead to low or moderate physical dependence.
  • Schedule IV (diazepam) – Low abuse potential, accepted medical use, may lead to limited dependence comparative to other schedules.
  • Schedule V – Low potential for abuse, accepted medical uses and include those with very small doses of certain narcotics.

Drug crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies (as opposed to civil infractions).

Even a possession charge can be a felony, depending on how much was involved. Florida does not take into account whether possession was actual (in one’s physical custody) or constructive (without actual physical contact, but with known whereabouts and ability to control).

Per the aforementioned F.S. 893.13, a person who violates drug trafficking laws with respect to Schedule I substances face either a first-or-second second-degree felony, punishable by 15-to-30 years in prison. For a Schedule II, it’s either a second- or third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of five to 15 years in prison. Typically those involving Schedule IV and V drugs are misdemeanors.

Aggravating factors include things like sale within a certain radius from a school, park or church, a prior record of drug convictions, or drug sales in furtherance of a gang.

Florida Drug Crime Defenses

The type of defense our firm will employ in your case will depend on a number of factors, though we do have an extensive diversity of litigation strategies.

We start by closely analyzing police actions that resulted in search, seizure and/or arrest, and whether those actions were legal. So for example, if police did not have reasonable suspicion necessary to stop your vehicle in the first place, evidence they uncovered is likely to be inadmissible in court.

Similarly, if they unlawfully patted you down, questioned you, initiated an investigative stop, got or executed a search warrant, a violation of your constitutional rights may be asserted. If proven, the entire case is likely to crumble or be significantly weakened.

We seek to argue for the exclusion of evidence through Motions to Suppress.

Beyond that, we will analyze the strength of the evidence. For example, if you are charged with possession, but the state is relying mostly on inferences barred by statute (rather than solid facts), we may file a Motion to Dismiss. In cases where the evidence is obviously weak, our attorneys will seek to negotiate a voluntarily dismissal with the state, or else use that as leverage to protect your interests.

While many criminal cases do end in plea bargains, we will not hesitate to prepare and take a case to trial if we know the offer on the table is not advantageous to you. By being reading for the courtroom, we ensure prosecutors come to the table ready to make a serious offer to reduce or dismiss the charges.

Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (877)-ARREST-0 (277-3780).