Is Drug Possession a Felony or Misdemeanor in Florida?
Have you been arrested for a drug offense in Miami? You are probably wondering if you will be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Felony offenses have a more significant exposure than misdemeanor cases. Felony drug possession is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and misdemeanor drug possession is punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail.
The type or amount of drugs involved will determine whether you are looking at a felony or a misdemeanor. Other aggravating factors, such as drug offenses involving juveniles or firearms, may also impact the severity of your charges.
Controlled substance scheduling system in Florida
According to Florida Statute § 893.03, controlled substances are classified into five different schedules. The drug charges you are likely to face are based on the scheduling and amount of the drugs involved.
For example, being caught in possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis or marijuana — a substance listed in Schedule I — not intended for medicinal use is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. Any more than 20 grams, and you may face a third-degree felony charge.
There is a lot at stake.
Drug charges, especially felony drug offenses, carry significant penalties in Florida. A conviction for a drug offense, whether a felony or misdemeanor, can result in jail or prison time, a suspension of your driving privileges, and losing your civil rights if you are convicted of a felony. Given the severity of drug charges, the importance of hiring a qualified and licensed drug crime lawyer in Miami cannot be overstated.
Prepare your legal defense.
Are you facing drug possession or distribution charges in Miami? The offense in question will shape your defense. When defending yourself against drug charges, you can use a variety of defenses, and making informed decisions is essential for a positive outcome.
Was the evidence legally obtained? Were there any problems in the chain of custody when handling the evidence? Examining these and other elements of your drug case might result in your charges being dropped, dismissed, or reduced. It all comes down to the steps you and your criminal defense lawyer in Miami take after you are arrested or before legal proceedings begin.