Defending Drug Offenses
An arrest for a drug-related offense can have serious consequences to all aspects of your private and public life. If you, or a family member, have been arrested, you need to take steps now to protect your immediate and long term future. It’s critical that you get the facts about the arrest, the charges, and what actions you can and should take as soon as possible. It’s also very important that you get your information from an experienced lawyer who knows the law and the court system.
Fighting drug offenses require the skill and knowledge of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Wayne Richter. Wayne handles all types of drug offenses in both State and Federal courts. Most of the laws regarding drug offenses in Florida are contained in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes. Although not an exhaustive list, drug offenses that Wayne routinely defends include charges such as:
- Possession with intent to sell,
- Possession within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, school, park, church, etc.,
Some of the most frequently seen charges that Wayne routinely handles involve drugs, also called controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMA (ecstacy), Schedule II substances (hydrocodone, oxycodone, methamphetamine, methadone) and Schedule IV substances (alprazolam/Xanax, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam).
Potential Defenses To Drug Charges
The defense to a drug charge varies from case to case. However, an important aspect to be considered with any drug charge is how the police came into contact with you; for example, did the police officer have a valid reason to stop, detain or search you? Other issues that should be evaluated are: in search warrant cases, whether there was probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant, was the drug found in a jointly occupied vehicle or home, do you have a prescription for the drug or can a prosecutor prove each element of the charge?
Wayne Richter offers a complimentary initial consultation and will assure you of a thorough evaluation of your case to explore potential defenses tailored to your specific case.
Potential Consequences of a Drug Charge
Generally, the most serious consequence of a drug-related offense is a jail or prison sentence. The majority of drug offenses in Florida are classified as felonies. Generally, the possession of a controlled substance, or drug, is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. Likewise, charges of Possession with Intent to Sell, and Sale of a controlled substance, are commonly second-degree felonies and punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison. Lastly, trafficking charges are first degree felonies and are punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and carry mandatory minimum sentences. But, don’t panic! A competent and dedicated attorney like Wayne Richter may likely help you avoid such drastic consequences.
The possession of a small amount of cannabis (marijuana), less than 20 grams, is classified as a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in the county jail and a $1,000.00 fine. Once again, that is the maximum penalty, and oftentimes a better outcome can be achieved.
One of the most overlooked penalties to a conviction for a drug offense, including a misdemeanor conviction, is a one (1) year driver’s license revocation. However, in most cases, after six months, a driver whose license has been revoked for a drug-related conviction may petition the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to have their license reinstated. Although that reinstatement may be on a restricted basis for work purposes only. If the judge, or the State Attorney’s Office, agrees to withhold your conviction, then your driver’s license will not be revoked.
Contact our office immediately to schedule a free consultation with a drug crime lawyer in West Palm Beach to find out how Wayne can help defend your drug charge.