It’s my first drug possession charge in South Florida. Will I go to jail?
While no attorney can guarantee the result of any case - and you should be very wary of a criminal defense attorney that tries to promise you a certain result on your case - it is unlikely you will go to jail for your first drug possession charge in Florida.
Whether or not you go to jail in Florida for your first drug possession charge depends on a few factors, however. For example:
Have you ever been in trouble with the law before?
What type of drug (or drugs) did you possess?
How much of a drug were you in possession of?
The severity of the crime makes a huge impact on whether or not you’re likely to go to jail for a first-time drug crime allegation in Florida.
For example, if you’re facing a drug charge for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana, you’re facing a first-degree misdemeanor. This is the lowest type of criminal charge, and it is most likely that you will not be sentenced to jail even if you’re convicted of the drug crime if you have a clean criminal record.
Other drug possession charges, however, are third-degree felonies - such as heroin and cocaine possession. These crimes have possible prison sentences of up to 5 years, and because they’re felonies, it would be much harder to get a defendant a resolution of the case without prison if convicted of the crime.
In addition to the type of drug you’re found in possession of - the amount of drug also makes a difference.
Let’s take marijuana, for example. Marijuna or weed is one of the least punished drugs in America, and is a lesser offense in Florida. But if you possess a large quantity of weed, you can still be looking at some serious charges - even Florida drug trafficking charges.
If you’re found in possession of more than 25 pounds of marijuana or cannabis, you will be facing a first-degree felony charge. This felony can be punished by a MINIMUM 3 year prison sentence (this means, most likely, if convicted you will spend at least 3 years in prison -- there are only a few limited ways to avoid a mandatory minimum sentence if convicted of a crime). In addition to jail or prison time, you could also be hit with fines as high as $25,000.
If it’s your first run in with the law, you likely have a chance to avoid any jail or prison time if you’re convicted of a drug crime in Florida.
It depends, however, on the drug you were found in possession of as well as the amount of it.
If you’re facing a drug charge or allegation in South Florida, don’t face it alone. We offer FREE strategy sessions where we listen to your story and then explain how we would represent your case and defend you.