The number one drug problem in the Tampa area is, perhaps surprisingly, prescription drugs. Seven people in Central Florida die every day from prescription drug misuse, even though prescription painkillers are highly-regulated under state law. The problem is not new. In 2009, prescription opioids and benzodiazepines (CPDs) caused 3,041 deaths, with cocaine in second place for fatalities at 522 deaths, and heroin in a distant third with 43 deaths. Florida is not alone in high rates of prescription drug abuse, but the statistics remain troubling.
If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense, speak to a lawyer at Khonsari Law Group and learn if we may be able to help you. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to giving our clients the very strongest defense, and working for the best possible outcome in every case. Contact our office at (727) 269-5300 or online to schedule a free consultation.
When drug charges are successfully prosecuted, they become part of a permanent criminal record that has the potential to wreak havoc on a defendant’s reputation, future employment options, and relationships. The legal team at Khonsari Law Group understands how devastating drug charges can be, and we work hard for our clients to keep them from suffering the consequences that come with a conviction.
The federal government has empowered states to make drug laws in addition to federal laws. Therefore, drug charges may be complicated, and the consequences will depend on various factors, such as whether the defendant understood the nature of the drug, the amount of the drug, whether the substance is “controlled,” and what the individual intended to do with the drug. The types of drug charges most often seen in Florida include:
Simple possession, ironically, may result in severe penalties. Under Florida law:
- If a person possesses an illegal drug (controlled substance), they have committed a felony.
- If a person possesses marijuana (less than 20 grams), they have committed a first-degree misdemeanor. (There is an exception for legally prescribed medical marijuana.)
- If a person has “bath salts” or “spice,” in their possession, they are in ownership of an illegal drug (controlled substance) and have committed a felony.
Sale of Controlled Substances and Possession with the Intent to Sell
Under Florida law, selling a controlled substance and possession with the intent to sell are different crimes. However, the same factors apply for determining the severity of the crime. For both offenses, the charge relates to the type of substance, and the amount of that element sold. The bigger the cache, the harsher the consequences:
- An individual is not allowed to sell, manufacture, or deliver more than 10 grams of a controlled substance. Those who do so have committed a first-degree felony.
- Possession of over 20 grams of marijuana (except medically prescribed marijuana), over 28 grams of cocaine, more than 10 grams of ecstasy, as much as 1 gram of LSD, or over 4 grams of heroin (or an opiate) is a third-degree felony.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports heroin consumption and seizures by authorities add up to approximately 450 tons of heroin in the global market per year. Under Florida law, drug trafficking carries a minimum of three years and up to 30 years in prison, and fines of $25,000 to $250,000. The penalties for these charges can be especially severe and therefore necessitate the help of highly experienced attorneys.
Tampa Drug Offense Attorney
Because of the unique stigma of drug crimes, and the easy target they make for “tough on crime” politicians, defending a client with drug charges is especially challenging. However, Khonsari Law Group is up to the challenge. We stand apart from our peers because we:
- Only take select cases in order to ensure that we can give each case the attention and resources it deserves;
- Have extensive experience and a record of success representing clients in drug crime cases;
- Are committed to making the strongest possible defense;
- Vigorously advocate for and defend the rights of our clients; and
- Work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcomes.
If you are charged with a drug crime in the Tampa area, don’t wait to speak to a defense attorney, because the strongest defense can be made when there is still time to thoroughly prepare the case. Contact Khonsari Law Group at (727) 269-5300 or online for a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and help you understand your options. Contact us today and learn if we may be able to help you.