Drug Crime Defense

At Pinellas Criminal Law, we defend those who have been convicted of drug crimes in Pinellas County, Florida. Due to Florida’s long reputation of international drug trade and crime, drug crime laws in this state are much stricter. If you’ve been convicted of a drug crime in Florida, it’s important that you seek an experienced, knowledgeable drug crime criminal defense attorney to help protect your rights and freedoms.

Drug Crime in Pinellas, Florida

State laws vary depending on the actions committed that are considered to be “drug crime.” It’s important to note that importation, manufacturing, distribution, and possession of a controlled substance are all actions that can land someone a drug crime charge. Controlled substances and/or specific drugs considered illegal in the state of Florida, include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Heroin
  • Ecstacy

While these substances may have different limitations or even legal in other states, Florida law considers associations to these substances to be illegal.

Florida Marijuana Laws

While recreational and medicinal marijuana are beginning to become decriminalized and legal in different states throughout the country, Florida has strict laws regarding marijuana. Possession of 20 grams or less is considered a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than 20 grams is considered a felony, and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. For possession of cannabis plants, possession of less than 25 plants is considered a felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. For 25 plants, it is also considered a felony with 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. When selling marijuana 25 pounds or less, it is punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Selling more than 25 pounds is considered a first-degree felony, and can result in 30 years or life in prison,

Florida Cocaine Laws

Under Florida Statute Section 893.03, cocaine is considered a Schedule II substance. Possession of cocaine is considered a third-degree felony and can be punished by up to 5 years in prison. Selling or delivering cocaine is considered a second-degree felony by up to 15 years in prison. A cocaine drug crime can be considered a first-degree felony, however, if the defendant knowingly possesses, sells, buys, manufactures, or delivers between 28 and and 150 kg of cocaine in the state of Florida and can result in 30 years to life in prison.

LSD Laws in Florida

LSD is considered a Schedule I drug federally, and has both state and federal ramifications for possession and trafficking. For first offenses of trafficking 1-9 grams can result in not less than 5 years and no more than 40 years in prison. First offenses of LSD trafficking, should they result in serious injury or death, can result in no less than 20 years to life in prison. A fine may also be applied of up to $2 million. In Florida, possession of up to 1 gram of LSD is considered a third degree felony which can result in 5 years in prison. Possession of more than 1 gram is considered a first degree felony, which can result in up to 30 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Heroin Laws in Florida

Heroin use has risen substantially in recent years. Federally, heroin is considered a Schedule I drug, which means it is considered to have a high level of dependency and no medicinal value. Possession of up to 4 grams of heroin is considered a third degree felony and up to 5 years in prison. Possession of more than 4 grams is considered a first degree felony, which results in 30 years in prison. Selling, delivering, or manufacturing heroin is considered a second degree felony with 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and driver’s license suspension.

Ecstasy Laws in Florida

Ecstasy, otherwise known as MDMA, is a commonly used street drug that under federal law, is considered a Schedule I drug. In 2008, it was estimated that between 10 and 25 million people globally had used ecstasy in the past year. While it’s use is common, it is still considered an illicit drug with strict penalties, especially in the state of Florida. The threshold between third and first degree penalties for possession stand at 10 grams; under 10 is a third degree felony and over is first degree.  The difference between third and first is 5 and 30 years in prison, respectively.

Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)

Operated by the Florida department of corrections, the Felony Pre-Trial Intervention is a diversion program aimed at clearing qualifying felonies.  The program is designed to help first-time felony offenders the opportunity to clear themselves of a felony conviction for life. Teh Pre-Trial Intervention program is similar to a probation, as it lasts a year and dictates certain actions that must be taken by the defendant during that time.

In order to apply, you must have legal representation submit an application on your behalf. An application and a compilation of relevant documents must be submitted within 45 days of the date of the arraignment. Once the necessary documents are received, the State Attorneys Office will determine whether or not the applicant qualifies. This can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days from when the application was received.

There are some restrictions for those with drug crime charges to qualify for the PTI program. Firstly, the program is only open to those with third-degree felonies that meet certain qualifications to be approved by the State Attorneys Office. Secondly, those that are involved in drug crimes that include heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, PVP, over a half a gram of cocaine, or related drugs cannot qualify for the program. If the defendant was found to be dealing or distributing drugs, they will also not qualify for the program. All persons involved in the program are also subject to drug testing and should they fail, can be expelled from the program.

Contact Pinellas Criminal Law Today

If you’ve recently been involved in a drug crime in Pinellas County, Florida, it’s imperative that you seek legal representation for your case. Since Florida has some of the toughest drug laws in the country, you’ll be facing stricter penalties and fines that can lasting effects on your freedoms. Don’t go through it alone, contact our team of experienced attorneys at Pinellas Criminal Law today.