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Melbourne Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

Florida Drug Possession Laws

The Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy represent clients facing criminal drug charges relating to “Possession of a Controlled Substance” throughout Brevard County area, including Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Grant-Valkaria, Indialantic, Indian Harbor Beach, Malabar, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Village, Palm Bay, Palm Shores, Rockledge, Satellite Beach, Titusville, and West Melbourne.

What is Possession of a Controlled Substance?

Certain drugs and chemical substances are known as controlled substances by Florida law. Each year, Florida drug laws get harsher and more complex. Our Melbourne criminal defense attorney is experienced in defending clients for drug crime related offenses. Typically, all drug crimes are serious offenses with harsh punishments according to Florida drug prevention and control statutes.

The attorney at the Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy has represented several clients in drug cases including marijuana and cocaine possession, prescription drug fraud, cultivation, possession of drug paraphernalia, and drug trafficking offenses. If you have inquiries about your specific drug crime case, contact us.

Controlled substances incorporate all chemicals which are structured under law as having a medicinal or psychotropic effect. These substances include:

  • cannabis or marijuana;
  • oxycodone;
  • cocaine;
  • cocaine extracts in cocaine spin-offs;
  • simulated heroin in brand-name synthetic painkillers; and
  • other or newly created designer drugs.

Is Possession Of a Controlled Substance a Felony Or Misdemeanor?

Possession of a controlled substance is typically regarded as a felony in Florida. Penalties for this offense might include probation, fines, and several years in prison, depending on the quantity and type of substance involved. Usually, possession with the intent to distribute carries more severe punishments, such as jail sentences and hefty fines.

Possession of a Controlled Substance Information Center

  • Florida and Federal Controlled Substance Jurisdiction
  • Proof of Possession
  • Actual / Constructive Possession
  • Joint Possession of Drugs under Florida Law
  • Controlled Substance Possession Case Resolution

Florida and Federal Controlled Substance Jurisdiction

The guidelines of controlled substances and the state’s statutes convicting sanctions exist both in Florida law and Federal law. If you are arrested in Florida, you could be prosecuted for criminal drug charges by either the United States Government in federal court or by Florida’s state prosecutor in state court.

Proof of Possession

Florida law requires prosecutors to prove the criminal act of Possession of a Controlled Substance beyond all reasonable doubt. The State of Florida prosecuting attorney must prove that an individual possessed an illegal drug on his person (actual possession) and provide evidence proving the controlled substance was the specific drug alleged to be in the possession of the defendant, or they must prove the defendant had knowledge of the presence of the drug that was within his control (constructive possession).

Although the prosecutor does not have to show that the individual knew exactly what drug was possessed, instead the prosecutor must prove that the individual knew the illicit nature of the item in his possession (that it was contraband). By invoking your right to remain silent after an accusation, you often stand the best chance of avoiding a conviction. If the law enforcement officer did take your statement, your criminal defense attorney in Brevard County may be able to file a motion to suppress the statements.

Actual / Constructive Possession

Under Florida law, possession is defined as an individual having control or exercises the rights of ownership over an item.

Actual possession exists when the alleged has physical possession of the controlled substance and awareness of such physical possession. Constructive possession exists when the alleged has the illegal substance in close proximity that it is considered to be under that individual’s authority or control. Individuals arrested for possession of marijuana, cocaine or other illegal and controlled substances should know that simply being in close proximity to these substances without more evidence is insufficient to substantiate an individual’s possession or any illegal substances.

Because mere proximity to a controlled substance in not sufficient to establish control, constructive possession drug cases must be carefully analyzed to ascertain whether it is subject to a Motion to Dismiss based on circumstantial evidence grounds.

Joint Possession of Drugs under Florida Law

More than one person can be arrested for possession of the same controlled substance. Often called “joint possession” under Florida law, two or more individuals may be alleged to have joint possession of and control over an illegal substance.

If an individual has sole possession of a controlled substance, another individual’s knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed; however, if that individual doesn’t have sole possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence cannot be reasonably inferred or assumed.

If you have been arrested for “jointly possessing” any drug or controlled substance, important defense may apply to the facts of your case. The prosecutor may attempt to make you and the co-defendant witnesses against each other. Only by contacting a criminal defense attorney as early in the case as possible can you preserve all avenues of attack.

Controlled Substance Possession Case Resolution

An arrest for a drug related offenses often leads to the State Attorney’s Office in Brevard County filing “formal charges.” However, during the 21 days after the arrest, your criminal defense attorney can contact the prosecutor to fight for no criminal charges or reduced criminal charges to be dropped.

It is typical for courts to be lenient towards offenders convicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance for a person with no prior drug convictions. The initial offer made by the judge or prosecutor to resolve the case often depends on the amount of drugs found, the type of drugs, and your criminal record.

If convicted of Possession of a Controlled Substance, offenders may face jail time, probation or parole, community service sentencing, alternative drug rehabilitation programs with random drug testing, and/or a suspended sentence with a guilty plea.

Frequently, participating in drug rehabilitation programs can result in the drug charges being dismissed, especially for first-time offenders. In many drug court programs. as long as the individual fulfills the stated requirements, they will be able to avoid a conviction of any felony charge. Lack of compliance with the program or reports of positive drug testing will result in sentencing including imprisonment and felony charges. For first time offenders, our Melbourne criminal defense attorney may be able to work with the prosecuting attorney to obtain a minimal punishment or right for an outright dismissal of the case.

Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy | Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

Contact the Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy if you are in need of representation for a drug-related offense. The Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy criminal defense attorney defends clients in Brevard County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Osceola County, Indian River County and Orange County.

Contact us immediately to begin the process of your defense. Submit your case details in our online form. Or call our Brevard County drug attorney for an immediate consultation.