Have you been charged with cocaine possession in Florida? If you are caught with any amount of cocaine, even a residual amount, it is considered a felony in Florida. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug in Florida, meaning it is considered dangerous with a high potential for abuse, leading to severe physical or psychological dependence and harm. 

Florida law states cocaine possession is a 3rd-degree felony. The penalty for simple cocaine possession is up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. This penalty increases depending on the amount found and other aggravating factors. For example, you may want to consider how much cocaine is considered drug trafficking. Possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, especially depending on the location, may also aggravate circumstances at the time of arrest, resulting in harsher penalties.

How much cocaine is considered drug trafficking? 

Selling any amount of cocaine in Florida is a 2nd-degree felony, however, you may be charged with a 1st-degree felony for selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of a convenience store, church, school, and government facilities/parks. Possession of any controlled substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver can land you in prison for up to 15 years. If you are found with an amount of 28 grams or more of cocaine, you will be charged with cocaine trafficking which is a 1st-degree felony. The penalty for cocaine trafficking in Florida is a mandatory minimum prison term of 3 years and a fine of $50,000. If this is a repeat offense or you are convicted of armed drug trafficking, you may even be sentenced to prison for life. 

What are the penalties for possession of cocaine, selling cocaine, and drug trafficking? 

Possessing, selling, and trafficking cocaine in Florida is punishable by high fines of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on aggravating circumstances at the time of arrest, even first-time offenders may find themselves sentenced to life-long prison terms. Prison and fines aside, the court also reserves the right to suspend or revoke Driver’s License privileges in the state of Florida. 

What to do if charged with possession of cocaine?

If you’ve been charged with cocaine possession or cocaine trafficking in Florida, it is considered a serious crime. Not only do you face high fines, but also serious time in prison. You have the best chance for a favorable outcome with an experienced Palm Beach County Criminal Lawyer. A criminal lawyer will have experience defending clients who have been accused of committing crimes, whether true or not. Matthew Konecky PA has 20 years of experience handling criminal cases for clients who have been charged with serious criminal offenses in the state of Florida.

Do first-time drug offenders go to jail in Florida?

Depending on how much cocaine or other controlled substance was found at the time of arrest and the type of drug, even first-time offenders may wind up going to prison. With an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney, first-time offenders may qualify for a diversion program to offer treatment for cocaine substance abuse. These diversion programs are designed to rehabilitate and reduce recidivism involving regular drug tests and check-ins with a probation officer.  

Arrested for cocaine possession while on vacation in Florida

Were you on vacation when arrested in Florida? Find out what to do if you are charged with a crime in Florida, but are not a Florida resident.

What are the defenses for cocaine possession in Florida?

Defenses for cocaine possession in Palm Beach or Broward County include illegal search and seizure, lack of knowledge, and constructive possession. Constructive possession in Florida occurs when cocaine or a controlled substance is not found on a person but instead in a car or other form of communal or shared area. It must then be determined with evidence that the controlled substance belongs to the convicted individual. Insufficient evidence is another common defense against drug charges in Florida. This means that the evidence fails to meet the burden of proof and is not enough to convict an individual based on fact. 

Arrested for cocaine possession, selling, or trafficking with a weapon 

If you are arrested for cocaine possession while armed, you can face very serious legal penalties. Depending on the amount of cocaine in your possession at the time of arrest, carrying an armed weapon may show intent to sell or traffic the cocaine. “Armed trafficking” refers to the additional offense that occurs when the accused displays, uses or threatens to use a firearm or other weapon while trafficking a controlled substance.  The penalty for armed trafficking in Florida particularly carries the most severe consequences and is even punishable by life in prison. Under Florida’s “10-20 Life” law courts are required to impose a minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or even up to life. If an individual is charged under the 10-20 Life statute, these are mandatory minimum sentences that the judge will be required to impose. 

Even if this is a first-time offense, getting charged with armed trafficking could land you in prison for decades, which is why it is so important to hire the right criminal lawyer in Florida with experience in defending Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession offenses.  

If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense in Palm Beach County or Broward County, call us at 561-671-5995 or visit https://www.matthewkoneckypa.com/ for 24-hour access.

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