When it comes to drug crimes, Florida is one of the toughest states in the country. The criminal justice system in Florida, especially South Florida, takes a very strong stance against drug crimes because we are a primary region in the United States for drug activity and trafficking. If you are facing charges for drug possession, possession with intent to sell, drug trafficking, or racketeering, contact Matthew Konecky, PA immediately.
Being convicted of charges for possession with intent to sell in the State of Florida will result in long-lasting serious consequences for you. Intent to sell will typically be a felony charge. In addition to the possibility of jail time, a conviction can also result in driver’s license suspension, harsh fines, a permanent criminal record, and the inability to obtain employment in certain occupations. This is why you need an experienced drug crime attorney who is skilled at developing a solid defense against these types of charges.
Penalties Associated With Intent to Distribute
Depending on the amount and type of drugs confiscated, being convicted of possession with intent to distribute could mean a minimum sentence of 2 to 4 years or, in the worst-case scenario, up to 40 years in prison with fines reaching $50,000. Long jail terms and heavy fines are the result of additional penalties that come into play if you have been arrested with weapons and drug paraphernalia in your possession as well.
Florida Statute 893.03 outlines the five schedules for drug seriousness based on potential for abuse. For example, Schedule I addresses drugs such as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, as they have absolutely no medical purpose. Schedules II through V are predicated on the level of abuse vs. potential medical use of the drugs found. Basically, the Schedules are based on how harmful the courts consider these illegal substances to be.
Penalties also follow a sliding scale of charges for conviction based on the types of substances as covered in the preceding statute; however, these minimum prison terms and fines will increase based on whether you actually sold illegal substances, had a weapon, or already have a criminal history. This process is complicated and requires the expertise of an experienced drug crimes lawyer who can provide the best advice and defense so you do not receive a conviction.
Possible Defense Strategies for Possession With Intent to Sell Charges
When I review your case for a possible defense strategy, I will take into consideration the following:
- Nature of charges. When building your drug defense strategy, I will closely review all the charges against you to determine if the evidence merits the charges. The first aspect of intent to sell charge requires that the prosecutor proves either actual or constructive possession of the drugs. Circumstantial evidence is typically used to prove constructive possession. The second aspect of intent to sell charges is the actual intent to sell or distribute component that completes the charge. To be charged, you don’t necessarily have to have sold anything. Purely circumstantial evidence can be used against you, such as having more drugs in your possession than what would be considered reasonable for personal use, or having drug paraphernalia such as scales, testing kits, rolling paper, and mixing kits. How the drugs were packaged is also considered. Large amounts of cash and weapons are also considered as circumstantial evidence. However, the state needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you clearly intended to sell the drugs in your possession. Being charged with possession with intent to sell near a school or place of worship will lead to even harsher penalties.
- Best defense strategies given your circumstances. One defense strategy can be to disprove actual possession or constructive possession of the controlled substances. Remember, the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If this is not the case, then the defendant cannot be found guilty. If possession cannot be disproved, the burden still remains to prove intent to sell. The next step is to prove that possession was for personal use which results in much lesser penalties, including avoidance of prison with drug intervention programs. As your criminal defense attorney, I will also look to suppress evidence if the seizure and search of people and their property were not considered reasonable under the terms of the law. Without proper evidence to bring to court, it will be very difficult for any prosecutor to demonstrate intent to distribute or sell drugs. Incriminating statements that have been made without proper Miranda warnings can also be excluded from the case. I’ll closely review how any statements were obtained by authorities and their validity.
If you are arrested for any drug crime, do not make any statements, verbal or written. Immediately ask for an attorney and do not speak to anyone until you have had a chance to discuss your situation with a qualified drug crime defense lawyer.
What Should You Do If You Are Arrested for Intent to Sell?
For more than a decade, The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky, PA has defended drug crime cases in the State of Florida. It is important to understand that to be found guilty, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of every aspect of the drug charges brought against you. As a skilled attorney and negotiator, I have successfully defended hundreds of cases in Palm Beach and the State of Florida. I have worked diligently to have charges against my clients dropped or greatly reduced by developing strong defensive strategies that focused on the validity of circumstantial evidence. I am a highly qualified Palm Beach drug crime lawyer and drug crime defense advocate. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today.