Drug Possession

Possession charges can be defended in many ways.

Drug Possession

Possession charges can be defended in many ways. Some common defenses include knowledge of the presence of the narcotics, dominion and control over the narcotics and the State’s ability to prove the substance is a prohibited substance. Additionally, law enforcement often discovers the narcotics from an unlawful vantage point or fails to properly obtain and/or execute a search warrant. The best criminal defense attorneys review all these scenarios and more in a swift and thorough manner.

Don’t accept a plea agreement with the State until your case is thoroughly reviewed by an experienced attorney!

In federal states drug possession laws makes it unlawful to possess drug paraphernalia or other drugs including marijuana. The laws impose further penalties on the possession of the precursor substance used in drug cultivation. What constitutes drug possession may vary however depending on the substance, the amount and the location in which it occurred. The following drug possession summary explains the elements involved in possession, the categories of the legislation and the charges for the paraphernalia.

In some cases drug possession includes possession of drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin. The federal government said in a statement that drug possession was the main reason behind more than half of the arrest cases in the United States. Nearly a quarter of these arrests were reportedly due to marijuana possession. As a result, police efforts to tackle this crime have almost tripled over the past twenty years.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Florida Statute 893.13(6)(a)

Unless the controlled substance was lawfully obtained, a person may not be in actual or constructive possession of a “controlled substance.”

Common controlled substances include cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, opium, methamphetamine, codeine, fentanyl and many others.

Controlled substances found within the following sections constitute a second degree felony and is punishable up to fifteen (15) years in prison: F.S. 893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c)5.

Controlled substances found within the following sections constitute a third degree felony and is punishable up to five (5) years in prison: F.S. 893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)6., (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (2)(c)10., (3), or (4).

For a full list of the illegal substances and the sections in which they are named, please click Florida Statute 893.13(6)(a).

Possession of Marijuana – Florida Statute 893.13(6)(b)

The legal landscape is constantly shifting in its enforcement of marijuana laws. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a marijuana-related crime and you want more information, contact Bernhardt Riley.

Sale of Controlled Substance – Florida Statute 893.13(1)(A)

Generally, a person may not sell, manufacture, deliver (or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver), a controlled substance.

A person who violates this provision could receive a wide range of possible sentences, depending on the controlled substance. These sentences are enhanced if contraband is sold too close to certain locations, such as schools and parks; or illegal transactions occur at certain times of day.

Trafficking Drugs – Florida Statute 893.135

In Florida, you may be charged with Trafficking a Controlled Substance even if you had no intent to sell or deliver the substance. The State only has to prove that you possessed a certain weight of the substance. If sentenced under the Trafficking statute, the sentence must include a prison sentence ranging from three (3) to twenty-five (25) years. The judge will have no authority to depart from the mandatory prison sentence.

Drug Possession - Help Fight an Addiction


At times, helping someone with a criminal case is larger than trying to get the State to drop or reduce the charges. At Bernhardt Riley, we emphasize helping those who desire to overcome addiction while thoroughly defending their rights.

Of course, your case would still be reviewed for any and all potential legal defenses. But in addition to legally defending your case, Bernhardt Riley specifically puts an emphasis on helping people fight addiction.

Stephen M. Bernhardt brings extensive experience as a former State representative of the Drug Court Program.

The State Attorney’s Office lacks the time to make every person an offer that is unique to their individual situation. Thus, many people end up with a sentence that is actually harmful to their recovery attempts.

This applies to all kinds of cases, not just possession charges. Far too often, a theft or battery is a by-product of an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Seemingly arbitrary jail sentences and one-size-fits-all probation sentences can have the effect of making recovery more difficult or set one up to fail.

Whatever your situation, Bernhardt Riley works to protect your rights and improve the future of every client.

If you would like to discuss how drug/alcohol rehabilitation courses, programs and facilities can positively impact your case, please contact Bernhardt Riley now.