The state of Florida has outlawed the possession, manufacture, and sale of numerous illicit substances. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges take drug crimes very seriously and often seek the maximum penalties against alleged offenders. This could mean jail or prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, mandatory probation, and other harsh consequences.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for a drug-related offense in Orlando or any of the surrounding areas, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Ali & Blankner, we have over 85 years of combined experience in criminal defense law, including all types of drug offenses.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
Types of Drug Crimes in Florida
Florida has a variety of drug offenses, all of which come with varying criminal penalties. Although some drug offenses are charged as misdemeanors and some are charged as felonies, all drug crimes in Florida are serious. If you have been accused of, arrested for, or charged with any type of drug crime, you should immediately contact an Orlando drug crime defense attorney at Ali & Blankner.
The most common types of drug crimes in Florida are:
- Possession of an illicit substance
- Sale/distribution of an illicit substance
- Possession with intent to sell and/or deliver
- Drug trafficking
- Transportation of illicit substances
- Drug manufacturing or cultivation
Additionally, if you are found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a drug—regardless of whether it is an illicit substance, a prescription drug, or an over-the-counter medication—you could be charged with “driving under the influence,” or DUI.
At Ali & Blankner, we defend clients against all types of drug-related offenses. We encourage you to act quickly in contacting our firm if you or someone you love is facing drug crime charges. The sooner we can begin investigating your case, reviewing the evidence, and building your defense, the better.
What Is an “Illicit Substance?”
An “illicit substance” is a drug or another substance that has been made illegal to possess, sell, distribute, or manufacture (at all or in certain quantities) under state law. Like other states, Florida categorizes illicit substances according to several drug “schedules.”
- Schedule I: Schedule I substances are considered the “most dangerous” due to their high potential for abuse and very few or no accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule I drugs in Florida include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and methaqualone. In Florida, marijuana is also a Schedule I drug.
- Schedule II: Schedule II drugs are considered to be somewhat less dangerous than Schedule I substances, but they still have a high potential for abuse and very few accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule II substances include methamphetamine, cocaine, Vicodin, and fentanyl.
- Schedule III: Schedule III substances have more accepted medical uses than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, but they are still considered dangerous due to their relatively high potential for abuse. Some Schedule III substances in Florida include ketamine, codeine, testosterone, and certain steroids.
- Schedule IV: Schedule IV substances have a relatively low potential for abuse, but there is still some risk. These drugs also have more accepted medical uses than Schedule I, II, or III substances. Xanax, Ambien, Valium, and Tramadol are all examples of Schedule IV substances.
- Schedule V: Schedule V substances are considered the least dangerous, as they have a relatively low potential for dependence and abuse. They also have multiple accepted medical uses in the United States. Some examples of Schedule V drugs in Florida include Motofen, Lomotil, and Parepectolin.
Generally speaking, the more dangerous a drug is, the greater the criminal penalties for possessing, selling, manufacturing, or distributing it will be. While the schedule of the substance plays a role in determining what the penalties will be, it is not the only factor. The amount of a drug allegedly in your possession will also significantly impact the possible penalties you could face.
The Effects of a Drug Crime Conviction
The state of Florida prosecutes drug crimes aggressively and relentlessly. If you are convicted, you could face significant criminal penalties, as well as numerous consequences in your day-to-day life.
Criminal penalties for various drug crimes depend on numerous factors, including the type and amount of drug, whether there were any aggravating factors, whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and more. Not only will a conviction potentially result in a lengthy prison sentence and other criminal penalties, but it may also affect your housing options, government benefits, employment, and reputation.
Some of the possible criminal penalties for a drug crime conviction in Florida include:
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Court costs and other related fees
- Community service
This is not an exhaustive list; you could face additional penalties depending on the specific details of your situation. We urge you to contact our Orlando drug crime lawyers right away to learn more about your legal rights and options during a free, confidential consultation.
At Ali & Blankner, we immediately get to work investigating the evidence and building powerful cases on behalf of our clients. All of our defense attorneys are former prosecutors. This gives us a distinct advantage when it comes to anticipating the state’s case and the moves it will likely make against you. We know what to expect and, most importantly, we know how to fight back.
As your legal team, we will handle every aspect of your defense. We work directly with our clients, providing clear and consistent communication every step of the way. Our goal is always to seek the best possible outcome based on the facts of the case and any other relevant factors. We will always consider your specific situation, needs, concerns, and goals as we help you navigate the criminal justice system. We offer completely free and confidential consultations, as well as a variety of payment plans to help make the process easier and less financially stressful for you. Our bilingual attorneys and staff can assist you in both English and Spanish (se habla español).
We have an outstanding success record, and, as former prosecutors, we have what it takes to effectively protect your rights and fight back against the state’s attacks. Our team has a distinct mastery of both sides of the courtroom, making us formidable allies for our clients. Our legal team can anticipate the prosecution’s case, enabling us to give our clients the best drug crime defense possible.
Is marijuana legal in Florida?
Marijuana—also known as weed, pot, and by many other names—is not only illegal in Florida, but it is also classified as the most serious type of illicit substance, a Schedule I drug. The only exception is if a person has a valid medical marijuana card, which allows them to carry certain amounts of medical marijuana purchased from a licensed dispensary. Medical marijuana must be in a sealed, tamper-proof container. It is unlawful for anyone to possess recreational marijuana in Florida, even if the person has a valid medical marijuana card.
Do I need a lawyer if I was arrested for drug possession?
You should hire a criminal defense attorney if you were arrested for or charged with any type of drug crime, including possession of an illicit substance. Even if the charges do not seem that serious, the truth is that you could be facing months or even years in jail or state prison, not to mention thousands of dollars in fines, probation, mandatory community service, and other harsh penalties if you are convicted. An attorney at Ali & Blankner in Orlando, FL can not only help protect your rights but also work to defend your reputation, your freedom, and your future.
Can the police arrest me if they find drugs after conducting a pat-down?
Yes, the police can arrest you if they find drugs on your person during a pat-down. Pat-downs are legal even without the consent of the individual in Florida, as long as the officer has reason to suspect the suspect may be carrying a weapon.
Can I be charged with a crime if the police found drugs in my car?
You may be charged with a crime if the police find drugs in your vehicle—even if the drugs are not yours or you did not put them there. Having drugs in your vehicle is considered “possession” and may result in criminal charges. If you clearly stated that you did not give your consent for the police to search your vehicle, and the officer did not have a signed search warrant, you may be able to file a motion for suppression or a motion for dismissal based on unlawful search and/or seizure. However, if the drugs were in “plain view,” this may not apply. Contact our firm immediately to speak to an attorney about your legal rights and options.
Large Firm Results, Small Firm Attention
Our criminal defense team in Orlando understands the ins and out of the legal industry, and we have the infrastructure and resources to handle any case that comes our way. We focus on your case specifically to ensure we get the best result for you.
Fighters & Advocates in the Courtroom
The criminal lawyers in Orlando at Ali & Blankner are aggressive advocates who are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain a favorable resolution. We are committed to defending your rights and protecting your future.
Prosecutor Insight & Knowledge
All of our Orlando criminal attorneys are former prosecutors and understand how the other side thinks. When you work with our team, you get a group of individuals who knows how to prepare and fight a winning case.
Dedicated & Experienced Counsel
With over 35 years of experience and thousands of clients helped, Ali & Blankner has the skills, resources, and determination to get you the best possible result.