Possession of any controlled substance not legally obtained from a medical practitioner is a third degree felony for most drugs in Florida. Without a valid prescription, possession of the narcotic could result in criminal charges. If convicted of a substance-related crime in Fort Lauderdale or surrounding areas in Broward County, you could face prison time, fines and a suspended driver's license for two years.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Broward County, you should have an experienced Fort Lauderdale drug possession lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represent you. Whether you choose to combat the charges or pursue drug court as an option, we will be available to you 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
We represent clients throughout Broward County from our Fort Lauderdale office, including in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Coral Spring, Wilton Manors and Pompano Beach. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (954) 716-8538 to schedule a free consultation.
According to Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.13, it is illegal for someone to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance without legal permission. A person has legal permission if, for instance, he or she has a valid prescription.
Actual possession means the narcotics were allegedly found on the suspect, such as in pockets on clothing. The substances also could be found on the suspect's body, within reach, in a backpack he or she is carrying or in his or her hands.
Constructive possession means the drugs were allegedly found in a location where the suspect has sole control, such as the trunk of a car.
Controlled substances under the Florida Statutes Annotated § 893.03 include:
Possession of the substances is a third degree felony, unless the narcotic in the charge is defined as a Schedule V substance or is 20 grams or less of marijuana. Schedule V substances in Florida include certain cough medications with a small amount of codeine. Each of those charges is considered first degree misdemeanors.
Penalties for a third degree felony in Florida include up to five years in a state prison and a $5,000 fine, according to state law. For a first degree misdemeanor, you could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If convicted of any narcotics possession, you also may have your driver's license suspended for two years.
Drug court may be an option for some people facing possession charges in Broward County. Drug court is an alternative program that allows the person being charged to seek treatment. To enter the program, an individual must plead guilty.
Broward County's Drug Court was founded in 1991 and is the third oldest in the nation. The program serves close to 800 clients daily and has programs to help people charged with substance abuse related crimes avoid prison and jail sentences.
You may be eligible to have your felony charges dismissed by participating in the drug court Pre-Trial Intervention Program if you:
The 17th Judicial Circuit Drug Court Judges monitor all participants in the program through court hearings and they must comply with certain restrictions. The program is a minimum of a one-year treatment. If the participant finishes the program, the charges are dismissed.
A person is admitted into the drug court program at the discretion of the court. Do not assume you will be able to enter the program, even if it is your first charge. Your attorney can negotiate for you admittance. Your lawyer can also advise you on whether drug court is your best option.
Drug possession cases are felonies and convictions can carry serious consequences. If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Broward County, contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (954) 716-8538. A Fort Lauderdale drug offenses lawyer from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is available for a free consultation.
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