Possession of Cocaine in Florida & Why You Need a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney
Under Florida law, if an individual knowingly possesses an amount of cocaine that is less than 28 grams, he or she may be charged and convicted of simple cocaine possession. This criminal charge is considered a third degree felony, and conviction carries with it a maximum jail sentence of 5 years, and a fine up to $5,000. Additionally, any convicted individuals will lose their Florida driver’s license for a period of two years. These are extremely serious consequences that could result for simply possessing trace amounts of cocaine. With the right attorney, however, you may be able to limit the severity of some penalties.
If an individual possesses 28 grams or more of cocaine, not only does the individual face a possession charge, but he or she may also face drug trafficking charges which could result in serious jail time ranging from 30 years to life, along with fines ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. The reason why the penalties for possessing more than 28 grams of cocaine are so unforgiving is because such a large amount of cocaine suggests that the cocaine is not simply for personal use, but that the cocaine is to be trafficked or sold.
While the penalties discussed above can be very frightening for an accused individual, it is important to remember that a qualified and dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you fight a cocaine possession charge. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be possible to have your cocaine possession charge dismissed if there are grounds to do so. If your case cannot be dismissed, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the charging prosecutor to reach a result that is fair given the circumstances surrounding your cocaine possession charge.