It is normal to be scared and overwhelmed if you have been arrested for a drug crime in Volusia or Flagler County. Sometimes, anxiety under these circumstances can result in bad decisions that worsen the situation. Before you act on your anxiety, you should contact the Law Office of Genine Ann Mejia. Our Volusia County drug crime lawyer can provide reliable legal advice and represents clients aggressively in the courtroom. Our firm will take decisive steps to shield your rights and build your defense. We have a strong reputation in the community and maintain a sharp focus on results.
Florida criminalizes a range of activities pertaining to controlled substances. These include possessing, possessing with intent to sell, manufacturing, selling, and importing. Controlled substances in Florida include cocaine, heroin, Fentanyl, hydrocodone, LSD, methamphetamine, and more.Drug Possession
The most basic drug crime is simple possession. Simple possession is sometimes addressed through sentencing alternatives like pretrial diversion. Pretrial diversion is usually for first-time nonviolent crimes. It is similar to probation; you will need to report to a supervising officer, perform community service, go through random drug tests, and not perform any criminal activities. If you successfully complete pretrial diversion, you can have the charges dropped.
However, the type of controlled substance at issue can substantially affect the charges. Even if you possess less than 28 grams of cocaine, for example, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. Similarly, it is a third-degree felony if you possess less than 4 grams of fentanyl. Third-degree felonies can be punished with a maximum of 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. The potentially harsh penalties make it critical to consult a drug crime attorney in Volusia County who can investigate all of your available options.Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking is a serious charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence. Mandatory minimum sentences are those over which the judge does not have discretion. You can be charged and convicted of drug trafficking if you perpetrate certain activities that involve more than a statutory threshold of a particular drug. For example, possession of 30 kg or more of opium, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, or derivatives of these can be charged as drug trafficking. You could also be charged with drug trafficking if you sold, made, delivered, or imported into the state this threshold amount of any of these controlled substances. In Florida, you do not need to be a drug kingpin to be charged. The threshold weight is determined based on the total weight of a mixture, rather than by the pure amount of the particular substance.
You can face life imprisonment for a conviction of trafficking in 30 kg or more of these substances. With this conviction, you will not be able to get a discretionary release, except in extremely rare circumstances like executive clemency. Fortunately, a Volusia County drug crime attorney may be able to develop a strong defense based on the specific circumstances of your case.
If the trafficking charge is based on circumstances in which you intentionally killed another person or caused or procured a death, or acted in a way such that death was a natural result, you can be sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole or even the death penalty. You may face a maximum fine.Defenses to Drug Charges
The government needs to establish the elements of a drug crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It is possible that your attorney may be able to get evidence suppressed or poke holes in the government’s account of what happened for the purpose of raising a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Sometimes, in a drug trafficking case, it may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about the amount of drugs that was involved so that you do not meet the threshold that results in a mandatory minimum sentence. Depending on the circumstances, other substantive or constitutional defenses may be available, such as arguments based on an improper search and seizure.Consult an Experienced Volusia County Attorney
You should take drug crime charges seriously. Sometimes prior convictions can affect later charges or sentences, and it is important to retain a drug crime lawyer in Volusia County for even a minor possession charge to minimize the impact on your record. You should not assume that a conviction is assured. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Volusia County or Flagler County, you should consult the Law Office of Genine Ann Mejia. Call 386-463-0849 or contact us via our online form.