What is the Jail Time for Selling Drugs in Florida?
State law in Florida prohibits the sell, manufacturing, or distribution of a controlled substance. You can also be charged with the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. In a previous article we discuss the possible charges for possession of controlled substances. Here, we will discuss the possible charges for selling, manufacturing, distributing, or possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell.
Violation of the abovementioned law can result in a second or third degree felony depending on the type of substance involved. A Schedule 1 substance, like cannabis/marijuana, would likely result in a third degree felony. A Schedule 2 substance, like cocaine or heroin, would result in a second degree felony.
- Third Degree Felony Charges: Up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $5,000 fine.
- Second Degree Felony Charges: Up to 15 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine.
If, however, you have prior felony charges you could receive increased charges or “enhanced sentencing”. The state refers to these defendants as “career criminals” or “habitual felony offenders”.
Keep in mind that drug trafficking charges are different from possession with intent to sell charges and can be much more severe.
Proving Possession with Intent to Sell
So, without a judge being able to read your mind to determine whether you intended to sell the controlled substance you had in possession, how can they prove the intent to sell? Well, there are a few things that could lead to you being charged with “intent to sell” including:
- The amount of controlled substance in your possession – if the amount is larger than what would usually be held for personal use.
- The presence of large amounts of cash in close proximity to where the drugs were located.
- The presence of packaging or baggies that is consistent with drugs and drug sales.
- The presence of drug paraphernalia such as testing kits, scales, balances, rolling papers etc.
- The presence of weapons.
- Admission by the accused or an associate of the accused.
Many of the above factors listed are often very similar to that of personal use possession. For instance, the presence of drug paraphernalia is common with personal use as well. This fact can help in the defense of criminal drug charges.
Defenses to Possession with the Intent to Sell Charges
When it comes to the defense for felony charges of selling a controlled substance there may be several different ways to approach it. This greatly depends on the evidence, the charges, and other circumstances. There are a few key factors that the prosecutor must prove in order to charge you with possession including:
- The defendant possessed a certain substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the substance;
- The substance was a controlled substance as defined in Section 893.03, Florida Statutes;
- The defendant had knowledge of the substance.
There may also be grounds to challenge the legality of the search or seizure by police. This could result in the case being dismissed altogether. Additionally a defense attorney could also challenge the intent to sell – bring the charges down to just possession – or they could possibly challenge that the defendant was aware of the controlled substance.
Get the Assistance You Need for Your Case in New Port Richey, Florida
In any case, when it comes to felony drug charges in the state of Florida it is important that you have a strong defense and an experienced criminal defense attorney. This can greatly improve your odds of lowering your charges or getting the charges dismissed entirely.