Miami Cocaine Possession Attorney
If you have been charged with the possession of cocaine in the state of Florida, it is crucial to have an experienced drug crimes attorney on your side. Narcotics laws are strictly enforced in the state. A conviction for possession of cocaine can result in a prison sentence, probation, suspension of your driver’s license, and fines. Being arrested for a drug crime can also tarnish your reputation, interfere with employment opportunities and make it more difficult to find a place to live. When your freedom is in jeopardy, it is crucial to have aggressive legal representation.
Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC is a premier criminal defense law firm that handles drug possession cases in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout the state of Florida. Well-versed in the applicable state and federal narcotics laws, we have the know-how and experience to defend your possession of cocaine charges.
Being arrested for a drug crime is a serious matter, and you may be afraid and not know where to turn. Our legal team has a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes inside or outside of the courtroom. We believe that anyone who has been charged with a crime is entitled to the presumption of innocence as well as a well-conceived criminal defense strategy.
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Cocaine Possession Laws in Florida
In Florida, it is unlawful to knowingly be in possession of controlled substances such as cocaine. A controlled substance is a drug that can cause harm to an individual and has a high potential for abuse. Moreover, there are two types of possession — actual and constructive:
- Actual Possession — The defendant had the drug on his or her person or close enough to be within reach. Under these circumstances, the defendant is considered to have control.
- Constructive Possession — The accused had knowledge of the drug’s presence in his or her general vicinity (e.g. the home or car) and had the ability to control it.
In order to convict you, the prosecution must establish the following elements:
- The defendant had actual or constructive possession of a specific substance
- That substance was cocaine
- The defendant had knowledge of the presence of the cocaine.
It is worth noting that having knowledge means the accused was aware the substance (1) was on or around his or property and (2) illegal. Additionally, possessing up to 28 grams of cocaine could lead to a charge of possession with intent to sell. In this situation, however, prosecutors must be able to prove intent, which can be evidenced by scales and packaging materials, large amounts of cash, weapons, or customer lists and other indications that sales are occurring. Finally, being in possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine could result in a drug trafficking charge that carries more severe penalties.
Penalties for Possession of Cocaine in Florida
Possession of cocaine is a third-degree felony. The penalties for a conviction depend on the circumstances such as whether the possession was actual or constructive and the amount of cocaine. The penalties generally include:
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to five years of probation
- A driver’s license suspension for one year
- A fine of up to $5,000
The possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine is considered drug trafficking, a first-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for drug trafficking depend on the actual amount of cocaine the individual possessed and can include a lengthy prison sentence (potentially up to life imprisonment).
How Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC Can Help You
We know how to assert a number of defenses against cocaine possession charges and will help you explore all of your options. Our team may be able to prove that you didn’t know about or have control of the cocaine. Other potential defenses against a possession of cocaine charge include:
- The drug was found during an unlawful search of your home or vehicle
- Evidence in the case was improperly handled
- Law enforcement failed to recite the Miranda Warnings
- Lack of evidence/no probable cause
To build a successful defense, our team will conduct a thorough pre-trial investigation, collect and analyze all relevant evidence, and identify and interview witnesses, including the police. We are also highly skilled at discovery and drafting legal motions that are a critical component of case preparation. If the case goes to trial, we know our way around the courtroom and will strategically question and cross-examine witnesses and present any evidence of your innocence or reasonable doubt.
Although we are committed to winning an acquittal, we will be upfront about the strength of the evidence against you. Depending on the circumstances, we may seek to have the charges reduced as long as that is in your best interests. Above all, we are ultimately concerned about your future and will fight to protect your rights.
Call Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a free consultation.
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Miami Cocaine Possession Attorney