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Fort Lauderdale Drug Attorneys – Misdemeanor & Felony Defense


The Florida Attorneys at GMV Law Group know that drug charges in Florida carry very steep penalties. The Florida Criminal statutes classify many, if not most, drug crimes as felonies. If you or someone you love is convicted of a drug crime the penalties are significant. The fines are hefty, probation is usually lengthy, and prison may even be mandatory. You can trust the experienced lawyers at GMV Law Group to protect your rights and your future.

Pompano Beach Drug Charges

Florida law specifically defines drug crimes. Any crime involving that involves controlled or illegal substances are subject to still penalties. That is just one reason you need someone familiar and experienced in Florida courts. Here is a list of some of the most common drug charges we see in Florida:

Boca Raton Drug Possession Laws:

The offense of drug possession is when someone did not actively manufacture, attempt to distribute, or in any way try and sell a controlled substance. Most likely, the defendant had the illegal drug for personal use. Under Florida law, possession may be charged as a felony unless they have a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana for medical reasons. Recently, Florida passed a law adding “Spice” and “bath salts” to its list of prohibited substances. Florida law does allow a first-degree misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana for less than twenty grams.

If someone is charged with “possession with an intent to sell” the elements include all the same elements of simple possession, but it also requires proof that the defendant intended to sell or distribute the drugs. The specific charge will depend on the type of controlled substance involved. For instance, a state prosecutor may bring a third-degree felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell. In contrast, possession of cocaine with intent to sell may be charged as a second-degree felony. 

Florida Drug Possession Laws at a Glance

Additional details about Florida’s drug possession laws are listed below.
Statutes: Florida Statutes Section 893.13 *Effective January 3, 2007, Florida’s medical marijuana law will be added appear into the state constitution (with regulations to follow) when it takes effect on January 3, 2017.

Drug Possession Elements

  • The controlled substance must be illegal: The prosecutor must present evidence that the seized material is a controlled substance as defined by Florida law. This element generally requires scientific analysis by a crime lab.
  • Defendant must have knowledge of the drug and that it is illegal to possess: The prosecutor must show that the defendant actually knew or should have known about the illicit nature of the controlled substance and its presence.
  • Defendant must have had control of the controlled substance: The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant charged had control over the presence and location. It is an easier burden to meet if the drugs are on the defendant’s body.

Drug Possession Charges

  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 20 grams of marijuana (except for legally possessed medical marijuana);  Misdemeanor offender with 4 or more priors is subject to enhanced penalties
  • Third Degree Felony: More than 20 grams of marijuana (except for legally possessed medical marijuana); up to 28 grams cocaine; up to 10 grams MDMA/ecstasy; up to 1 gram LSD; up to 4 grams heroin/opiate
  • First Degree Felony: More than 25 pounds of marijuana; more than 28 grams of cocaine; more than 10 grams of MDMA or ecstasy; more than 1 gram of LSD; more than 4 grams of heroin or opiates
  • Medical Marijuana: Specific regulations are forthcoming. Updates are available at, including the maximum amount allowed per patient, are not yet available. You can follow the developments as they are made available by the Florida Office of Compassionate Use website.

The penalties for these crimes are as follows:

  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail, court costs, anyone with 4 or more prior convictions can be sentenced up to 1 year in jail, mandatory treatment, or home detention of up to 1 year.
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison
  • First Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and $250,000 in fines; mandatory minimums may apply (depending on type of drug and amounts)

Some defense that can be used to fight drug possession charges include:

  • Lack of knowledge that the material was a controlled substance
  • Valid prescription from a medical professional
  • Entrapment arranged by police
  • Fourth Amendment violation due to unlawful search and seizure
  • Use of cannabis in accordance with Florida’s medical marijuana law

Drug manufacturing:

Typically, drug manufacturing in Florida involves any type of activity where illegal drugs are produced or prepared for sale. That usually means growing drugs, making drugs, synthesizing drugs, and even packaging or labeling drugs.

Drug trafficking:

Despite popular belief to the contrary, drug trafficking does not require guns, fast boats, or even large quantities of drugs. Drug trafficking is an activity associated with drug distribution. What quantity of drugs is required to establish trafficking depends on the type of drug and will also determine the charges and what punishments are triggered. All trafficking charges in Florida carry mandatory minimum sentences that range from 3 years to 25 years.

Drug paraphernalia:

In Florida, it is illegal to possess, use, sell, manufacture, advertise, or transport any item or paraphernalia intended to be used with or in connection with drug activity. Paraphernalia is not limited to items used for drug use, it also extends to items used in growing or manufacturing drugs as well.

Drug racketeering:

Drug racketeering extends well beyond the commission of an individual drug crime. It also includes attempting to commit a crime, coercing another person to commit a drug related crime and a lot of other activities. Because of the complexity of Florida drug laws, it is critical to seek advice and support from an experienced Florida drug attorney.

Get a Free Initial Review of Your Drug Possession Case

The attorneys at GMV Law Group Law have a proven record of success and have dedicated themselves to representing and helping clients obtain the best possible results for their cases. South Florida criminal defense is serious business and should only be handled by knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. We handle the Tri-County area, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, daily. Call us today at (888) GMV-7200 to request a confidential and free consultation.

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