St. Petersburg Lawyer Handles Drug Charge Cases with Intensity and Focus
Vigorous defense of clients arrested for possession, sales, trafficking and other crimes
Anyone can be arrested for a drug crime, regardless of income level, professional achievement, family status or previous trouble with the law. If you face drug charges for possession, sales, trafficking, manufacture, distribution or other acts, it is essential to obtain legal advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. You need an attorney who is intimately familiar with federal and state drug-crime laws and the penalties and punishment you face. At the law office of Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A., I defend clients arrested for all types of criminal conduct involving drugs. My experience as a former prosecutor has aided my effort in defending clients charged with drug crimes, providing valuable insight and a broad perspective from which to combat the charges you face.
Drug crimes involve many different acts and a long list of controlled substances
Many drug crimes are felonies. All drug crimes are serious, even those prosecuted as misdemeanors. You may face drug charges in connection with marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and many other controlled substances, including various prescription drugs. Penalties for drug crimes include the following:
- Marijuana possession and sale — Possession of 20 grams or less is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries up to $1,000 in fines and imprisonment of year. Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony with up to $5,000 in fines and five years’ imprisonment. Selling marijuana is also punishable as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount involved.
- Drug possession, sale or delivery — If you are arrested for possession, sale or delivery of drugs in quantities that are less than the minimum amounts required to be charged with drug trafficking, you still face substantial legal punishment. You may face a second- or third-degree felony charge that can result in a prison sentence of up to five to 20 years and fines of up to $5,000 or $10,000.
- Drug trafficking — You can be charged with trafficking if you sell, purchase, deliver, manufacture or possess quantities of marijuana, cocaine, morphine, opium, oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin or other controlled substances in quantities at or above specific levels set forth in Florida law. Trafficking is a felony with substantial fines ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 depending on the quantity and type of drug involved. Trafficking also carries significant prison sentences ranging from three to 25 years. In some cases, trafficking is a capital offense subject to death or life imprisonment.
If you commit a drug crime near schools or certain other locations, use a weapon during the commission of a drug crime or qualify under Florida law as a habitual offender, you may face additional punishment. Many drug crimes also result in a suspension of your driver’s license.
The controlled substances that are the subject of Florida’s drug crime laws include many drugs that can be prescribed by doctors. It is not uncommon for minors to be charged with drug crimes related to prescription drugs, including possession of painkillers. At the law office of Joseph Montrone, Jr.,P.A., I defend minors charged with juvenile offenses, in addition to adults.
An attorney who understands drug crimes is vital to your defense. The right attorney can help a first-time offender charged with possession avoid conviction in certain cases, entering a diversion program as an alternative. More serious offenses require a criminal lawyer who knows how to attack the prosecution’s case based on illegal searches, insufficient evidence and other factors.