If you have been charged with a drug offense, it can be a frightening and possibly life-altering experience. Most drug charges are either state felonies or misdemeanors, but can also be federal offenses, which often have very harsh penalties. Drug charge convictions tend to incur jail or prison time and steep fines.
There may be ways to reduce your drug charges or have them dropped. For example, if the arresting officer conducted an illegal search and seizure of your home or person, your attorney may be able to have your drug charges dismissed or reduced.
Tallahassee Drug Charge Attorney
Hiring an experienced drug defense attorney is extremely important if you have been charged with a Florida drug offense. Don Pumphrey, Jr. has knowledge of Florida’s drug laws, and has successfully defended various drug charges. His law firm represents adults and juveniles facing charges for drug crimes in Tallahassee, Bristol, Monticello, Midway, Quincy, and nearby areas.
Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today to discuss your defense options during an open and free consultation with the legal team at The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr.
Florida Drug Crime Information Center
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Potential Drug Charges
Drug charges can be a variety of offenses and can range from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. Most drug charges are found in the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and are located in the Florida Statutes § 893.13. Don Pumphrey and his legal team work on many of the most common drug charges in Florida.
The firm represents individuals charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. This includes either actual or constructive possession of an illegal or prohibited substance and can carry with it heavy penalties in the state of Florida.
Another area of focus is working with individuals accused of Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs. This includes instances of actual or constructive possession of prescription drugs without a prescription, or in an amount in excess of your prescription.
Possession with Intent to Sell is another offense that is handled at the law offices. Under Florida law, this offense is defined as actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance or prescription pills in such an amount to indicate the intent to sell or distribute to someone
Along the same lines, Don also works with those accused of Drug Trafficking. This criminal offense takes place during the sale and distribution of controlled substances or illegal drugs within the state of Florida. In some situations, Federal charges can also be alleged.
Florida also has strict laws regarding Marijuana Possession. In the state, actual or constructive possession of any amount of marijuana is highly illegal, despite its growing acceptance nationwide.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is another common offense in Florida. In many situations involving possession of a controlled substance, related paraphernalia such as bongs, pipes, and needles can be found. This can also be a criminal offense.
Trafficking Prescription Drugs, which is the sale and distribution of prescription drugs within the state of Florida, whether online or through other means can bring serious criminal consequences and Don is here to help if you have been charged with this crime. Additionally, he also works with those accused of Drug Manufacturing, which is defined as the producing or growing controlled substances or illegal drugs in the state of Florida
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Florida Drug Schedule
Drugs in Florida are classified into various schedules, from Schedule I to Schedule V. Schedule I drugs typically have the most serious penalties, whereas Schedule V drugs very rarely carry harsh punishments.
Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no acknowledged medical use in the United States. Some examples are GHB, heroin, cannabis and salvia divinorum.
Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and a very limited accepted medical use in the United States. Common examples are opium, cocaine and Vicodin.
Schedule III drugs have a potential for abuse, but lower than Schedule I or II drugs, and an accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples are barbituic acid and anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and accepted medical uses in the United States.
Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and accepted medical uses in the United States.
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Names and Examples of Controlled Substances in Florida
Even if someone is familiar with the Florida laws and regulations, it can be difficult to associate drug slang or brand names with the different categories of banned substances. The following lists a few different names and brands:
- Alpha-Methylfentanyl, also known as Alpha-Methylthiofentanyl, Fentanyl, China White
- Alprazolam, also known as Xanax
- Amphetamines, also known as Uppers, Speed, Black Beauties, Bennies
- Anabolic Steroids
- Benzoylecgonine, also known as Cocaine Metabolite
- Benzoylmethylecgonine, also known as Ecgonine, Cocaine, Powder, White Lady, Blow, Coke, Coca
- Cathinone, also known as Bath Salts
- Clonazepam, also known as Klonopin
- Codeine or Hydrocodone with an NSAID or acetaminophen, also known as Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet
- Dextropropoxyphene, also known as Darvon, Darvocet
- Diacetylmorphine, also known as Heroin, Smack, Black Tar
- Enzodiazepines, also known as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium)
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as GHB, the Date Rape Drug
- Ketamine, also known as Special K, K
- Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, Acid
- Marinol, also known as THC Pill, Synthetic Cannabis
- Mescaline, also known as Peyote, San Pedro, Achuma, Peruvian Torch cacti
- Methadone, also known as Dolophine, Methadose
- Methamphetamine, also known as Meth, Speed
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy, MDMA
- Methylphendiate, also known as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall
- Morphine, also known as Roxanol, Kapanol
- Opium, also known as Poppy, Poppy Seeds, Opiates
- Oxycodone Hydrochloride, also known as OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan
- Oxymorphone, also known as Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone
- Pentobarbital, also known as Nembutal, Barbiturate
- Phenylcyclidine, also known as PCP, Angel Dust
- Psilocybin, also known as Psilocyn, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms
- Pure Codeine
- Pure Hydrocodone
- Salvia divinorum, also known as Salvinorin A, Salvia, Synthetic Marijuana
- Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), also known as Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot, Weed, Ganja, Bud, Chronic
- Thebaine, a precursor for most narcotics
- Zolpidem, also known as Ambien
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Penalties for Drug Charges
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, codified in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, defines Florida drug laws and penalties associated with drug charges.
Florida Statute § 893.13 describes different criminal penalties for various drug charges. A conviction for trafficking drugs or possessing illegal substances with the intent to sell listed in Schedule I and some Schedule II drugs is classified as a second degree felony. The penalties for a second degree felony can include prison time up to 15 years and/or fines up to $10,000.
A conviction for trafficking or possessing with the intent to sell other Schedule II drugs, Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs are third degree felonies. Third degree felony penalties include prison time up to five years and/or fines up to $5,000.
Schedule V drug convictions for trafficking or possessing with intent to sell are misdemeanors of the first degree. These penalties include up to one year in state jail and/or fines up to $1,000.
Other penalties may include substance abuse treatment, random drug testing, community service requirements, negative effects on employment or military status, probation, parole and/or a permanent criminal record.
Also, according to Florida Statutes § 322.055, any drug conviction will result in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license for two years, or until the offender has been evaluated and completed drug treatment, if necessary, whether or not the charge was driving related. Although a judge may reinstate an offender’s license for employment purposes, their license must be suspended for at least six months.
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Options If You Have Been Charged With a Florida Drug Offense
Your defense attorney may be able to find a defense to your charge, or other individual constitutional protections that may have been violated in order to have your charged dismissed or reduced. The decisions your attorney will advise you to make will depend on the circumstances in your particular case, prior convictions and other extenuating factors.
Your constitutional rights may have been violated if the officers conducted an unreasonable search and seizure. If a search of your home, car or person was illegally conducted by the police, your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress.
- Motion to Suppress – A motion to suppress can be used if an illegal search resulted in evidence against you. Anything found in an illegal search is inadmissible, and a motion to suppress would preclude the prosecution from using this evidence against you. If the motion to suppress is successful, there may no longer be evidence against you, which could result in a dismissal of the charges.
The Constitution also offers protection against self-incrimination. If information was obtained from you in violation of this right, what you disclosed cannot be used against you by the prosecution. This frequently occurs where an officer fails to read someone their Miranda Warnings. If the information was necessary to the prosecution’s case, then your drug charges could be dismissed.
Whether your possession drug charges are dismissed or reduced can heavily depend on the definition of possession in Florida, and whether possession was actual or constructive.
- Possession - Actual possession means the drug was actually on your body or person. Constructive possession involves knowing of the presence of the drugs, that they were illicit and having control or dominion over the drugs.
Suppose a passenger and driver are pulled over in a car and the officer searches the car and finds a bag of a controlled substance on the floor. Both people refuse to answer any questions or deny knowing the controlled substance was in the car, but both are charged with possession of a controlled substance. Since neither the passenger nor the driver were in actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance, there is not enough evidence for a charge of possession of a controlled substance. In this situation, your attorney could file a motion to dismiss.
- Motion to Dismiss – Your attorney can file a motion to dismiss on your behalf prior to trial if, for example, there is not enough evidence to bring the drug charges against you.
If you were induced into a drug crime, such as trafficking, by an officer that you would not typically commit, your attorney can utilize an entrapment defense.
- Entrapment occurs if someone is persuaded or encouraged to participate in criminal conduct by a law enforcement official or agent they would not have normally engaged in, and they committed the crime as a result of the inducement.
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Students for Sensible Drug Policy – SSDP is an international student organization dedicated to improving policies regarding drugs and minimizing the negative impact of drugs and the War on Drugs on students and youth.
Florida State University Chapter
Rachel Hoffman - A Drug War Tragedy - Article written by NORML Deputy Director, Paul Armentano, published by Cannabis Culture issue # 72 in Fall 2008. On May 7, 2008, 23-year-old Florida State University student, Rachel Hoffman, was killed in a botched police sting operation while working as a confidential informant for the Tallahassee Police Department. Rachel was busted for marijuana possession, threatened into becoming a police informant, then murdered during a bungled drug sting. After being threatened with jail time for pot and agreeing to work for authorities, police officers gave Rachel $13,000 in marked bills and arranged a buy of cocaine, ecstasy and a hand gun. She was killed with the weapon she was supposed to buy and robbed of the police money.
Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association – FADAA is a non-profit organization representing drug abuse and treatment centers throughout Florida.
2868 Mahan Drive, Suite 1
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Narcotics Anonymous – NA is a non-profit organization designed for people who have a drug addiction to meet and support each other in order to stay drug-free. The website contains more information and where local meetings are held.
Drug Enforcement Administration – A national government agency seeking to enforce the United State’s laws and regulations regarding controlled substances.
Federal Drug Penalties – The Drug Enforcement Administration’s page about federal penalties for possessing, trafficking and distributing controlled substances.
Office of National Drug Control Policy – This national government office’s goal is to establish policies, priorities and objectives of the Nation's anti-drug efforts and programs.
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Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Tallahassee Drug Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact the Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. to discuss the facts of your particular situation. There may be defenses to your charge, and finding an experienced criminal attorney in Tallahassee who is familiar with Florida drug laws is your best option to avoid severe punishment. Lawyer Don Pumphrey, Jr. will aggressively fight for your defense, and may be able to reduce your charges or have them dismissed. Contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged charges.