Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of an illegal drug is one of the most common criminal offenses in Florida and much of the nation. Unlike many other states, however, so-called “simple possession” of a controlled substance is often a felony offense in the Sunshine State.
A conviction for drug possession not only carries possible incarceration and fines, but having the charge reflected on a person’s criminal record can lead to profound long-term consequences that can negatively affect employment, educational careers, and professional licensing. Possession of even minimal amounts of certain drugs can lead to alleged offenders becoming convicted felons.Lawyer for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Miami-Dade County, FL
Were you arrested in Florida for allegedly possessing an illegal drug? It is in your best interest to immediately contact The Hoffman Firm for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney who represents clients charged with drug offenses throughout Miami-Dade County, including such communities as South Miami, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Opa-locka, and many others. He can review your case as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free initial consultation.
North Miami Drug Possession Information Center
- What is the difference between possession and trafficking in Florida?
- How does the drug schedule impact the possible sentence?
- Where can people with drug problems find help?
Possession of a Controlled Substance Charges in Florida
Florida Statute § 893.13(6) prohibits actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless the controlled substance “was lawfully obtained from a practitioner or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice or to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance except as otherwise authorized.”
Actual possession means that an illegal drug was on the alleged offender’s person or in his or her physical custody. Examples of actual possession include controlled substances being found in the hands, pockets, or purses of alleged offenders.
Constructive possession is more difficult to prove, as this concept involves illegal drugs being found in a location over which the alleged offender had dominion and control. People may be charged with constructive possession of a controlled substance when drugs are found in their cars or apartments.
Possession of a controlled substance is generally a third-degree felony in Florida, although possession of a Schedule V drug is a first-degree misdemeanor. The amount of the illegal drug in question is critical, as excess amounts of certain controlled substances can lead to alleged offenders being charged with the more serious crime of drug trafficking.
A controlled substance offense will be possession rather than trafficking so long as the amount in question is:
- Less than 28 grams of cocaine;
- Less than 10 grams of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Molly, or ecstasy);
- Less than 14 grams of methamphetamine;
- Less than 4 grams of an opiate, such as heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, opium, or codeine;
- Less than 4 grams of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol or “roofies”);
- Less than 1 kilogram of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) or
- Less than 28 grams of phencyclidine (PCP or angel dust).
Drug Possession Penalties in Miami-Dade County
Possession of a Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substance is a felony of the third degree in Florida. A conviction can result in the following penalties:
- Up to five years in prison; and/or
- Fine of up to $5,000.
When an alleged offender is charged with possession of a Schedule V controlled substance, the offense is classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree. These types of convictions carry the following penalties:
- Up to one year in jail; and/or
- Fine of up to $1,000.
Under Florida Statute § 322.055, a person who is convicted of possession of any controlled substance will also have his or driver’s license revoked for one year.
Florida Resources for Possession of a Controlled Substance Arrests
Better Way of Miami, Inc. — Better Way of Miami is a 501(c)(3) non-profit behavioral health center that provides substance abuse and mental health services to the Miami community, including individuals with drug and alcohol addictions. The organization’s mission “is to provide shelter, residential care, treatment, housing and services on a continuum, to indigent, homeless and addicted/dually diagnosed persons, their families and supporters, in order to maximize their chances for a productive, healthy and fulfilling life in recovery.” On this website, you can learn more about the history of Better Way, some of its treatment services, and its housing programs.
Better Way of Miami, Inc.
800 NW 28th Street
Miami, Florida 33127
Drug Abuse Trends in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, South Florida: June 2014 — View a report covering data for drug-related deaths, addiction treatment admissions, and poison information center exposure calls in South Florida. The report covers patterns and trends relating to heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and many other drugs. You can find numerous charts and graphs comparing certain statistics over recent years.
If you were arrested in South Florida for the alleged possession of an illegal drug, you will want to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm represents clients throughout Miami-Dade County, including North Miami, Miami Beach, Aventura, Hialeah, and many others.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who has experience handling these cases on both sides of the aisle as a former prosecutor. You can have him explore your legal options as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.