Drug Possession With Intent to Sell
It is generally understood that selling or manufacturing illegal drugs is against the law. Less is known about the crime of drug possession with intent to sell. Many people do not realize that in Florida, possessing drugs with the intent to sell them is just as serious of a crime as actually selling them. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg drug crime attorneys understand what it takes to fight a criminal charge for drug possession with intent to sell. We can help you construct a defense strategy and strive to prevent a felony conviction.Florida Offenses for Drug Possession With Intent to Sell
Certain drugs and chemical substances known as “controlled substances” are regulated by state and federal laws. Controlled substances include recreational drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, as well as prescribed medications. In Florida, it is illegal to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless it was obtained lawfully, such as from a practitioner or with a valid prescription. With the exception of marijuana, a simple drug possession offense is usually a third degree felony. However, if there is evidence that the person in possession intended to sell the drugs, they may face a more serious felony charge.
In general, most offenses for drug possession with intent to sell are second or third degree felonies. The penalties imposed for a conviction depend the type of controlled substance, the amount that was involved, the defendant’s criminal history, and the presence of certain factors that may elevate the degree of the offense. Possession with intent to sell most Schedule I drugs, such as heroin and LSD, as well as most Schedule II drugs, is a second degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a maximum $10,000 fine. For the remaining Schedule I and II drugs as well as Schedule III and IV drugs, possession with intent to sell is a third degree felony, carrying a maximum 5-year prison sentence and/or a $5,000 fine. Possession with intent to sell Schedule V drugs is a misdemeanor of the first degree, subject to a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a $1,000 fine if you are convicted.Defending Against the Charges
Drug possession with intent to sell requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant was in possession of a controlled substance, the defendant knew it was a controlled substance, the defendant intended to sell the controlled substance, and the substance was a controlled substance as defined under Florida law. Of these elements, the intent to sell is generally the most challenging for the prosecution to establish. In many cases, the prosecution relies on circumstantial evidence, such as the significant quantity and value of the controlled substance, to show that the defendant possessed the drugs with the intent to sell them. Other evidence may include the presence of large amounts of cash, weapons, scales, baggies, and other packaging materials associated with drug sales and trafficking at the scene of the offense. Without strong evidence, the prosecution may not be able to prove that the defendant intended to sell the drugs beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled defense lawyer can expose flaws in the prosecution’s evidence, which may weaken its case against the defendant. In addition, the defense may object to evidence obtained unlawfully, such as through an illegal traffic stop or an unconstitutional search conducted by the police.Hire a St. Petersburg Attorney for a Drug Possession With Intent to Sell Case
If you have been arrested for drug possession with intent to sell, the St. Petersburg lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. can provide legal guidance. We represent individuals facing criminal charges for marijuana and drug crimes as well as DUI and other offenses. In addition to Tampa Bay and Clearwater, our attorneys serve areas throughout Pinellas County. Schedule a free consultation by calling 727-286-6141 or contacting us online.