Drug crimes in Florida carry severe consequences, such as lengthy jail terms and hefty fines. Cocaine is illegal in Florida in every form (possession, use, manufacture, and sale) under Section 893.13(1)(a) of the Florida State Statutes. It all depends on the details of your case, but a possession of cocaine conviction in Florida can carry serious consequences.
Possession of Cocaine
In accordance with Florida Statute Section 893.03(2), cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high potential for abuse and the risk of developing psychological or physical dependence from its use. To be in possession of less than 28 grams of cocaine in Florida is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, according to Florida Statute Section 893.13. However, offenders with minor cocaine offenses and clean records may be eligible for diversion programs. Get in touch with a West Palm Beach, FL, cocaine defense lawyer right away if you or a loved one has been arrested on charges of cocaine possession.
Palm Beach, FL Drug Court
A Palm Beach County resident facing a felony drug charge may be eligible for Drug Court. Complete the Drug Court program and you will have your criminal charges dropped. Even if you have a criminal history, you may be able to have your record sealed or expunged.
Many former participants of Drug Court have expressed gratitude for their time there. It's not the best choice for everyone, and it requires a lot of effort. It is imperative to know what you're getting yourself into and what is expected of you in Drug Court before deciding whether to accept the offer or pursue other legal action. To participate in Drug Court in Palm Beach County, unlike in some surrounding counties, a guilty plea is not required. If you are able to successfully complete Drug Court, the judge will withdraw your guilty plea and dismiss your case.
That's why there's less of a stigma attached to going to Drug Court in Palm Beach County. You are free to leave Palm Beach County Drug Court and go to trial if you are not deemed ready for rehabilitation after failing the program. On the other hand, you will never have another chance to participate in Drug Court. Contact your Palm Beach criminal defense attorney today to find out if Drug Court is a viable option for you.
Cocaine Trafficking Arrests in Florida
It is illegal to knowingly sell, buy, manufacture, deliver, or bring into the state of Florida, or to be in actual or constructive possession of, any quantity of cocaine weighing between 28 grams and 150 kilograms, as stated in Florida Statute Section 893.135(1)(b). A violation of this law is considered "trafficking of cocaine," a first-degree felony. The severity of the consequences for engaging in cocaine trafficking is often proportional to the quantity involved.
Penalties for Cocaine Trafficking in Palm Beach County
As mentioned, the penalties for cocaine trafficking often correlate to the quantity involved in the crime:
- If the amount is between 28 and 200 grams, the offender will spend at least three years in prison (minimum mandatory) and must pay a $50,000 fine. The maximum penalty for cocaine trafficking is 30 years in prison
- If the weight is over 200 grams but under 400 grams, the offender faces a minimum mandatory of 7 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.
- For quantities between 400 grams and 150 kilograms, the minimum sentence is 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Those weighing in at 150 kilograms or more are subject to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Defenses to Cocaine Charges in South Florida
Possession of cocaine is a charge that can be fought vigorously. Possible defenses include, depending on the circumstances, the following:
- Insufficient evidence
- Defendant's possession cannot be proven to be actual or constructive.
- No Probable Cause
- Insufficient evidence to issue a warrant, and there wasn't enough evidence to press charges.
- Violating the law by using a dog to search when not lawful
- Illegally detained the suspect
- Illegal search and seizure
Cocaine Defense Lawyer near me in Palm Beach, FL
Throughout Palm Beach County, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, and the rest of Florida, Ian Goldstein and the legal team at the Law Offices of Ian Goldstein have decades of experience defending clients against Cocaine possession charges. If you or a loved one needs legal representation, Ian Goldstein will fight for the best possible outcome. Call (561) 600-0950 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a Palm Beach criminal defense attorney and learn more about your legal options.
Call Today for your FREE Initial Consultation
If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence, call (561) 600-0950 to contact the Law Offices of Ian Goldstein today to speak with an experienced Palm Beach County Drug Defense Lawyer.