Possession Of Drugs / Narcotics
A person may be charged with possession of narcotics in Florida for any number of drugs including: cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroine, ecstacy, or any other number of prescription and non-prescription drugs. It is a defense to the charge of possession of a narcotic if at the time of the arrest, the person had a valid prescription for that medication. It is typically a Third Degree Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison to illegally possess narcotics, with the exception of marijuana, which may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the quantity (See Possession of Marijuana).
The severity of the charges may be increased where the person is alleged to have had possession of a narcotic with the intent to sell it. This could increase the penalty to a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
In additional to any possible jail or probation sentence, a person convicted of possession of narcotics will have a mandatory two year suspension of his driver’s license. This can be avoided where the person is either found not guilty, the charges are dismissed, the person enters into pretrial diversion, or where adjudication is withheld (which is not a formal conviction on the person’s record).
There are a variety of defenses to possession of narcotics and there may also be diversion programs available to keep the person’s criminal record clear. These programs often include substance abuse counseling and drug testing. It is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney early to see what options are available and to preserve your rights.