Drug charges are serious in every state, no matter whether the accused was allegedly in possession of or was selling or transporting illegal substances at the time of the arrest. Sometimes, a possession charge can turn into a trafficking charge when the quantities of the drug in possession are very high. In such cases, the alleged criminal may be facing state as well as much more severe federal charges in the indictment.
Types of drug crimes
Both federal and state laws cover an array of crimes that can carry severe penalties for the possession, manufacturing or trafficking of controlled substances:
- Drug possession can include simple possession or possession with intent to distribute.
- Manufacturing and delivery involve any step in the production and delivery of an illegal drug. Prosecutors must prove the intent to manufacture.
- Drug trafficking include the sale, transportation and import of controlled substances, as well as possession with the intent to sell illegal substances. They can also cover the sale of paraphernalia, which is any equipment used to inhale, inject or prepare illegal drugs, such as bongs, pipes, rolling papers and syringes.
- Drug dealing refers to the sale of drugs on a smaller scale than trafficking, however, both are defined differently depending on individual state laws.
In general, federal drug charges often result in longer sentences and fines and focus more on trafficking. State law primarily criminalizes possession of illegal substances.
Drug charges in Florida
Florida law outlines drug crimes that can range from simple possession to trafficking, and bans controlled dangerous substances such as cocaine, heroine, LSD, some opioids and anxiety medications as well as marijuana (unless it is for medical use), bath salts and “Spice”.
A simple possession charge can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of the drug found. If the accused was found with large quantities of an illicit drug, they can face charges of possession with intent to sell, although this requires proof of the defendant’s intent.
If you are found with drugs in your vehicle, your home or on your person, it is important to know where to go in Citrus County to find experienced legal counsel that can help you fight the charges and protect your rights.