More drug crimes are committed in Florida than any other criminal offense. Drug crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the facts and circumstances. Regardless, drug crimes are extremely serious and can have a significant impact on one’s future. If you’ve been charged in Miami, it’s imperative to secure the best Miami drug crime lawyer you can find. At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, we have handled thousands of drug offenses and offer the best representation in Miami and all over South Florida.Statute
Drug crimes and corresponding penalties are listed under Florida statute 893.13. That statute makes it a crime to possess, sell, manufacture, deliver, possess with intent to sell, manufacture or delver a controlled substance. A controlled substance includes, but is not limited to marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone, meth, LSD, GHB, oxycodone, and ecstasy (also known as MDMA).Penalties
Penalties for drug crimes differ based upon what substance is involved, the quantity, and what, if anything, the accused was doing with it. An experienced Miami drug crime lawyer should be able to inform you what potential penalties you’re facing if convicted. First, it’s important to know that any conviction for any drug offense in Florida will result in a two years driver’s license suspension.Marijuana / Cannabis
If charged with possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana, one faces a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. If someone possesses more than 20 grams of marijuana, then they will likely be charged with a felony, subjecting them to a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prision and a $5000 fine. The penalties for marijuana related offenses become more severe based upon the circumstances. For example, if someone is cultivating marijuana and/or is operating a grow house, they could even face minimum mandatory prison terms, depending on the quantity and circumstances. While legal in several U.S. states, marijuana is still illegal to possess in Florida. The fact that it’s not illegal in some other states is irrelevant to prosecutors and judges.Possession of Controlled Substances
“Simple possession” of a controlled substance, other than marijuana, can subject a person to felony with up to five years in prison as the maximum penalty. Possession of personal use amounts of cocaine, heroin, meth, ecstasy etc. can also lead to a maximum fine of up to $5,000.Possession with Intent
It is not uncommon for officers to charge someone with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Often, this is done when officers believe that the amount of the control substance possessed was inconsistent with personal use. For example, a small baggie with a minute amount of cocaine will likely be treated differently than if a person was caught with 15 small baggies containing the same substance. If charged with possession with intent, the penalties become greater. If a person possessed marijuana with the intent to sell/distribute, they are facing a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. If the drug possessed is anything other than marijuana, like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, meth etc. and the person possessed the drug with the intent to distribute, then they would be facing a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years of prison.Trafficking
If one is charged with trafficking of a controlled substance, the penalties in Florida can be harsh. For example, someone who is accused of trafficking in marijuana/cannabis, involving 25 pounds to 2,000 pounds or 300 to 2,000 cannabis plants, face a mandatory minimum 3 year prison term and a fine of up to $25,000. The penalties for trafficking in marijuana can lead to a 15 year minimum mandatory prison sentence if the amount involved is over 10,000 pounds or more than 10,000 plants.
If caught possessing between 28 grams of cocaine, but less than 200 grams, a person will be charged with trafficking in cocaine. That charge in Florida carries with it a minimum mandatory prison term of three years and up to a $50,000 fine. If someone is charged with possessing between 200 grams and 400 grams of cocaine, they face a seven year minimum mandatory prison term and a $100,000 fine. A person charged with possessing between 400 grams and 150 kilograms of cocaine is facing a fifteen year minimum mandatory prison term and a maximum fine of up to $250,000. There are many more minimum mandatory prison term for trafficking in other controlled substances like heroin, hydrocodone, GHB, LSD, Methamphetamine (“meth”), and oxycodone. In some instances, minimum mandatory prison terms can be as high as 25 years.Defenses
There are many defenses to drug crimes. Finding the one that’s the most effective for the case is what veteran attorneys do. The Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh has extensive experience zealously defending drug crimes in Miami and the surrounding areas, in both state and federal courts.Unlawful Search and/or Seizure
As you’ve probably seen from reports in the media and also from your favorite cop tv shows and movies, law enforcement officers don’t always do things by the book. Often, they cut corners. For example, there are instances when vehicles are stopped without sufficient legal grounds. Also, homes and businesses are often entered without warrants based upon probable cause. The law is clear, if evidence like drugs is unlawfully obtained as a result of a bad stop, search or seizure, then they become “fruits of the poisonous tree.” That means that prosecutors cannot use the contraband found as evidence. In order to get evidence thrown out of court, a talented and experienced drug crime attorney in Miami will thoroughly investigate the case and then file a Motion to Suppress The Evidence. If successful, often the case is dropped because without the drugs seized, prosecutors have no case. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution mandates that all searches and seizures must be done lawfully. Unfortunately, since they are not always conducted properly, a talented defense lawyer is necessary to fight back against these violations of defendants’ rights.Entrapment
It is not uncommon for law enforcement and/or people working with law enforcement to entice someone to commit a drug crime that they wouldn’t ordinarily have desired to commit. By repeatedly demanding that they commit the offense or by using techniques to overcome their resistance, law enforcement may have committed entrapment. The key to this defense is that the person accused of the drug crime must not have been likely to commit it if it wasn’t for the law enforcement inducement. This is an affirmative defense. That means that typically this defense is raised after the prosecution rests their case at trial. A skilled veteran defense lawyer may be able to show prosecutors prior to trial that what law enforcement and/or a confidential informant did was tantamount to entrapment. That could lead to either prosecutors reducing the plea offer or dropping the case outright.Contact Us Immediately
If you or someone you know has been charged with any drug offense, you must secure the best drug crime attorney in Miami or surrounding areas that you can find. At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, we have extensive experience handling all types of drug cases. Whether it be simple possession to sale to trafficking, we’ve handled it all both in state and federal courts. Our results speak for themselves. Our clients always get the best outcomes under challenging circumstances. Call us immediately: 305.674.0003. Free consultations are available. We look forward to assisting you.