Types of Florida Drug Charges

Types of Florida Drug Offenses

There are many types of drug charges. Most of what we see are sale of drugs or sale of marijuana, prescription fraud such as obtaining a prescription by fraud , and drug trafficking cases. But we also see related criminal charges such as practicing medicine without a license and possession of a prescription drug without a prescription or theft by a pharmacy employee. We have represented individuals with extensive prior records, pharmacists, doctors, nurses, attorneys, juveniles, students, and people from pretty much every walk of life. So, if you’re looking for a Pinellas County drug defense attorney, A St. Petersburg drug defense attorney, Clearwater drug defense attorney, or a Pasco County drug defense attorney please give Larry call. The state attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit handles all of these locations and the Judges rotate within the 6th Circuit. It may help you in your decision on what attorney or attorneys to see that Larry Sandefer was the first attorney in the 6th Circuit to attain Certification as a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Trial Law. He is also one of the very few defense attorneys in this area who has served as both a Lead Trial Attorney and a Division Director at the office of the state attorney. He was one of the top assistants when he left that office.

Cultivation of Marijuana

Cultivation refers to growing marijuana. Often these cases are referred to as “growhouse” cases. These cases are more serious than possession cases and can often carry severe sentences. The need or desire for marijuana for medical reasons has not been a legal reason to have marijuana or cannabis plants in your possession in Florida. That is not a defense although it can be mitigation in some cases. With the passing of medical marijuana laws there will be specific and limited uses and reasons why a person may be able to possess marijuana.

Sale and/or Possession

Sale of a controlled substance such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana are some of the drug charges we defend most often.  The sale of most controlled substances is a second degree felony. The exception to this is the sale of marijuana less than a trafficking amount, which is a 3rd degree felony. Simple possession of a controlled substance is generally a third degree felony punishable under Florida statute 893.13.

Controlled substances are listed under Florida Statute 893.03. Sales of most controlled substances are a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Because of the Florida Sentencing Code, several sales even over time may result in the statutes calling for a  minimum state prison sentence. This may occur when undercover officers make repeated buys or purchases from someone, often using a confidential informant, and then they wait a period of time before making an arrest. Usually, with more than two sale charges a person will score out to a minimum prison sentence on the sentencing code.

There are defenses to drug sale charges that may be applicable to your case. There are also ways to reduce or avoid the prison sentence under the sentencing code.

The law also says that people may be guilty of possession of drugs if they are in “constructive” possession of a drug. This means that even though a person does not have the drug on their person,  if they are aware of where the drug is  and have the ability to control it or get it, they may be considered in constructive possession. More than one person can be in possession of the same drug.

A ‘principle’ to the sale of a drug is someone who assists or aids in the sale of a drug, but does not do the direct sale. Many defenses issues arise regarding these types of cases and we can discuss those thoroughly with you as they may apply to your case.  Someone convicted as a principle to a sale is guilty of the same crime as the person who actually commits the sale.

If you are charged with Trafficking in a controlled substance, and charges other than sale or possession please follow the links to other areas of our website on drug defense or call on contact us.

It is important to meet with a drug defense attorney who is experienced in all aspects of drug cases.   Larry Sandefer is a premier drug defense attorney in this area and in the state.   See Larry Sandefer’s qualifications and background.      Choosing the right attorney for you is  an important decision. Please call to discuss your case.

The meeting and consultation is free and confidential.


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Most common arrests are for sale of cocaine in Pinellas County, sale of crack cocaine in Pinellas County, sale of a controlled substance in PInellas County, Sale of Heroin in Pinellas County, sale of oxycodone or hydrocodone in Pinellas County, and Trafficking in illegal drugs in Pinellas County.

If you need a lawyer to help you on a drug charge in Pinellas County including Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and anywhere in Tampa Bay, call Sandefer Law Firm for a free and confidential evaluation of your case and defenses available to your particular situation.