Like other states, Florida is tough on drugs. Those caught in possession of drugs could face harsh penalties. While possession allegations mean that the accused likely did not manufacture, distribute or sell a controlled substance, it implies that a defendant was in possession of a controlled substance for personal use. No matter the circumstances that led to the charges, being in possession of an illegal substance could result in felony charges.

What are the elements for drug possession in Florida? For the most part, being in possession of a controlled substance, with the exception of medical marijuana through a doctor’s recommendation, may be charged as a felony. With regards to simple possession, this could result in misdemeanor charges.

On the other hand, possession with the intent to sell could result in much harsher penalties. This drug crime includes the legal elements associated with possession as well as proof that the defendant had the intent to sell or distribute the drugs in question.

When charging the accused, three things are looked at. This includes the illegal nature of the controlled substance, the defendant’s knowledge of the drug and the defendant’s control of the drug. If it is proven that the controlled substance is illegal, the defendant had knowledge of the drug and was in control of the drug, he or she could be charged with possession. Depending on the type of controlled substance, the amount in possession of and the criminal history of the accused, one could face harsh felony charges.

Possible defense options to use against drug possession charges include lack of knowledge, valid prescription, Fourth Amendment violation and using cannabis in accordance with Florida’s medical marijuana law. Depending on the situation and a person’s criminal history, one defense option might be more beneficial over the other. Thus, it is important ot explore your criminal defense options.