helps people defend against Drug Offenses
Drug offenses range in severity and complexity from a simple possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana where a police officer may issue a notice to appear all the way up to multi-state, multi-defendant drug conspiracies or trafficking with minimum mandatory sentences and maximums up to life in prison. The Jacksonville drug defense lawyers at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon can help you defend against your drug case, no matter how small or large.
Drug charges range from actual or constructive possession, sale of controlled substances, and trafficking in controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, GHB, Ketamine and other controlled substances. The sentences for drug crimes have increased significantly over the years pursuant to the government's self proclaimed war on drugs. Many drug crimes in Florida require minimum mandatory sentences and almost all convictions are accompanied by a suspension of one's driver's license.
Even a conviction for possession of a small amount of drugs, like marijuana or cocaine, can result in serious penalties that affect your ability to get a job, keep your driver's license, keep a professional license or remain in the country, if you are not a United States citizen.
Sentences for more serious drug crimes like sale and trafficking can include long prison sentences or even life in prison. Some of the factors that affect a sentence for a drug crime include the type of drugs, the quantity of the drugs, and whether drugs were sold near a school or place of worship.
Also, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 could allow the government to seize your finances and property which may ultimately be forfeited. If you have been arrested for drug trafficking charge or are under investigation, it is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
Call one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation on your drug case.
What is the difference between possession, sale and trafficking?
In the State of Florida, trafficking does not require the sale or distribution of controlled substances. The only distinction between possession and trafficking is the amount of the controlled substance that is possessed. Click on the Trafficking link below to read about what quantity of each individual drug is required to charge a trafficking offense. Trafficking charges typically come with minimum mandatory sentences. If you are found guilty of a trafficking offense, the judge must sentence you to, at the very least, the minimum mandatory sentence. Sale of controlled substances involves providing controlled substances to other people, whether it be through sale or simply by delivering it to another person.
Can two people be charged with possession or trafficking of the same controlled substance?
Yes. Two people can have possession of the same item. Therefore, two or more people can be charged with possession or trafficking in the same drugs. For example, if police find cocaine in a vehicle with four occupants, the police may charge all four occupants with possession of cocaine. Whether the State can prove in court that any one of those four occupants possessed it is another matter.
What if this is the first time I’ve ever been charged with a crime?
If you have never been convicted of a crime and you are now charged with possession of a controlled substance, you may be able to enter a pretrial diversion program or drug court, where you complete certain conditions and the State agrees to drop the charges upon successful completion of those conditions. This is typically not offered when you are charged with Sale or Trafficking charges. Call our experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys to discuss your drug case and what options are available to you.
Click a link below for more information about the different drug offenses in the state of Florida.