Your Defense Against Drug Possession Charges in Orlando
Drug possession charges can have serious consequences that go far beyond immediate concerns such as fines, probation and possible jail time. If you are convicted of drug possession in Florida, you will lose your driver's license for two years. You would also have a criminal conviction that would need to be disclosed to future employers.
At The Bigney Law Firm in Orlando, Florida, our lawyers are dedicated to protecting you from the short- and long-term consequences of a drug possession charge. We offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and explore defenses.
What is Drug Possession?
You can be charged with drug possession in Florida if you have custody or control of an illegal drug such as marijuana, cocaine, methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA), ecstasy, heroin, meth or controlled prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Xanax. Depending on the quantity of drugs and how the drugs were packaged, you could be charged with possession with intent to sell or even drug trafficking.
Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Florida. All other drug possession charges are at least third-degree felonies.
Defending Drug Possession Cases
Examining your drug case begins with your initial contact with police. Problems that we look for that may aid in the development of your defense include the following. If you were driving your car, why did the police pull you over? If you were walking, why did they stop you? If the police had no lawful reason to stop you, an experienced lawyer will win your case. Even if police had a legal reason to stop you, they do not have the right to search you or your vehicle without probable cause that you have committed a crime.
Learn more about illegal search and seizure.
There are three types of drug possession cases:
- Actual Possession
- Constructive Possession
- Joint Constructive Possession
In an actual possession case, the state is alleging that the drugs were found on you, typically in your hands, mouth or pockets. Actual possession cases are the strongest type of possession case for the state. On the other hand, if the drugs are found near you rather than on you, it is a constructive possession case. Constructive possession cases are more difficult for the state to prove, especially if there were one or more other people near where the drugs were found (joint constructive possession).
Alternative Dispositions in Drug Cases
In many cases, there are ways to resolve drug charges without the stigma of a criminal conviction. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible to participate in a pretrial diversion program. After successfully completing a 9 month pretrial diversion program, the state will drop your charges and your arrest record can be expunged.
Drug court is also an option for people who wish to seek treatment for drug addiction issues. Drug court is an intensive outpatient treatment program run by the courts and is an alternative to a jail sentence.
Free Case Evaluation
If you face drug possession charges, your best defense is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney at the Bigney Law Firm, call 407-792-2923 any time of the day or night or fill out our contact form. For your convenience, our office is located in downtown Orlando, Florida, one block behind the courthouse. Se habla Español.