Drug charges in Miami can be detrimental to you and your family. It can also ruin your career as people look at you with suspicion. The laws are strict but the punishment varies. It can range from a fine of a few hundred dollars to a sentence in Miami prison.
So, where does your future lie? It is natural to feel uncertain about what is written for you. The blog will discuss the various possibilities for a drug accused in Miami.
Potential Drug Penalties in Miami
The penalty mainly depends upon the drug case.
A defendant facing drug charges in Miami may have to stay in prison for up to 12 months — in case charged with a misdemeanor.
If the defendant is facing charges of felony, then one year in life imprisonment. The penalty varies in regard to the below-illustrated factors.
The Nature of Offense
Drug possession is a lesser offense than drug trafficking as the offender is not affecting the lives of other people. For instance, you may have been wrongly accused of drug possession. For that matter, someone tricked you into it.
Prior Criminal History
A defendant may be released with a fine if you are a first-time offender and have a clean track record. Whereas you may have to face tough penalties if caught with drugs more than once.
Any Weapon Involved
If the defendant is found having possession of a gun or any other lethal weapon, they may face strict penalties, including imprisonment. It becomes a case of more than drug possession.
Type of Drugs Held
The drugs are classified in different schedules.
- Schedule 1 includes the most dangerous drugs, except the harshest penalties. For example, Heroin, LSD, and cannabis.
- Schedule 2 includes Vicodin, oxycodone, ritalin, meth, and Adderall.
- Schedule 3 includes Testosterone, tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids, and ketamine
- Schedule 4 includes Xanax, ambien, valium, and darvocet.
Most American states, including Miami, seem to be making a positive shift to a more sensible drug policy. However, the possession of drugs illegally is still a serious crime.
So, what to do, if you are charged or arrested with drug possession? Keep on reading as we understand the different types of drug charges:
The Type of Drug Charges According to Amount Held
First Degree Misdemeanor Possession in Miami
A first-degree misdemeanor possession charge is for anyone who is caught with less than 20 grams of non-medical cannabis.
The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor possession charge include prison up to one year or a maximum fine of $1,000.
Third Degree Felony Possession in Miami
A third-degree felony possession charge is for anyone who is caught with up to 10 grams of MDMA, up to 28 grams of cocaine, up to 1 gram of LSD, and more than 20 grams of cannabis.
If convicted, third-degree felony possession in Miami is punishable for up to 5 years, and even a fine up to $5,000.
First Degree Felony Possession in Miami
The first-degree felony possession in Miami is the most serious offense. It is for Schedule 1 drugs which are found to be more than ten grams. It can send you behind the bars for up to 30 years.
State Charges vs. Federal Drug Charges
Both the state and the federal government have their own strategy to combat drug use and distribution. The primary difference between state and federal drug laws is the severity of consequences.
Federal drug charges lead to harsher punishments, long jail sentences, and often charged with felonies.
On the other hand, state drug charges without the intent of distribution often mean a lighter sentence. The most common federal drug crime is trafficking, especially across brooders.
Whether a person is prosecuted under the state or federal drug laws depends on the purpose of drug possession.
Will Conviction Affect My Driving Privileges?
Yes, a drug case conviction can affect your driving privileges. The court will alert the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and your driving privileges will remain suspended for two years.
Like any other case, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re a first-time offender, you may get some breather. But there is no 100% assurance. It depends on the case and of course, the judge.
Having said that, you deserve a strong legal representation in the court like any other accused. Put forth facts and your side of the story. Let the jury decide on the punishment.
What Happens When You Get Caught with Drugs as a Minor?
Unlawful drug possession being a minor is a slightly less serious legal matter. In most cases, minors caught with illicit substances are given another chance to improve their behaviour and never repeat the offense.
However, a previous criminal record can lead to a harsh penalty, even for the minor. The penalties include juvenile detention, juvenile drug counseling, pre-trial diversion, and probation.
Don’t Panic, Count on a Miami’s Criminal Defense Attorney
Just because you have been charged with drug possession, it is not the end of the road. Find out how a Miami’s criminal defense attorney can help
to explore various legal solutions. They can help to reduce the sentence, fine or even get the charges dropped entirely if you’re falsely accused.
Special circumstances under which you can be exempted are as follows:-
- A medical history that requires you to intake a certain drug. You can obtain a valid prescription for the same from your general physician.
- You are a victim of the police’s entrapment arrangement.
- Provide proof that you were convicted or arrested with a controlled substance.
- Using Cannabis as per your state laws.
A qualified attorney will legally present your case and try to get you out of the trouble. They can keep a felony off your criminal record, which otherwise can jeopardize your professional life.