FAQ About Drug Charges in Florida
Helpful Advice From Experienced Lawyers
Have you been charged with a drug-related crime in Florida? Not sure what to do? Or what your rights are? Fortunately, you're not alone. Florida drug charge lawyer Mark Sieron and his experienced legal team at Aguilar & Sieron have been handling these complex cases for decades in Northern Florida. That's why we compiled this list of some of the most frequently asked questions about drug charges in Florida. We realize you need answers now to your important legal questions. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your best interests always come first here.
What is your question?
- Are Florida's drug laws the same as other states?
- Are drug charges state or federal crimes in Florida?
- What is the difference between possession, distribution and trafficking?
- Is marijuana legal in Florida?
- Will I serve jail time if I'm convicted of a drug charge?
- Can I avoid jail time if I enter a drug rehabilitation program in Florida?
- Can I appeal my drug charge conviction in Florida?
- Who rules on appeals for drug convictions in Florida?
- Why should I hire a lawyer to handle my Florida drug charge?
Are Florida's drug laws the same as other states?
Yes and no. Some federal drug laws apply nationwide to all states. But Florida also has many individual state laws. That's why a drug charge can be so confusing. Even knowing what the laws are surrounding your arrest might not be clear, especially since Florida's drug laws often change. That's why we want to meet with you and learn more about the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
Are drug charges state or federal crimes in Florida?
In most cases, most drug charges are state crimes. But depending on the circumstances of your arrest, law enforcement officials may classify your crime as a federal crime, especially if you are arrested while in possession of a large quantity of illegal narcotics.
In either case, it's important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. If convicted, you could be fined thousands of dollars and incarcerated for several years. That's why it's important to meet with us right away.
What is the difference between possession, distribution and trafficking?
Drug charges in Florida are generally divided into three categories:
- Drug possession - Possession of smaller amounts of illegal drugs for personal use
- Drug distribution - The sale of illegal drugs
- Drug trafficking - The possession or sale of large quantities of illegal drugs
The penalties vary widely depending on the type and quantity of the drug, and whether you have been previously convicted of similar charges. That's why it always pays to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.
Is marijuana legal in Florida?
Voters approved an amendment to Florida's constitution in 2016 which legalized marijuana for medical purposes. But marijuana remains illegal for the vast majority of people in the state. In fact, the recent change in legislation has simply made Florida's marijuana laws more confusing. That's why it's more important than ever to talk with an attorney if you have been charged with a marijuana-related crime in Florida.
Will I serve jail time if I'm convicted of a drug charge?
Perhaps. Many drug convictions in Florida include mandatory-minimum prison sentences. Depending on the quantity of the drug you had in your possession at the time of your arrest, you could spend several months or several years behind bars.
Can I avoid jail time if I enter a drug rehabilitation program in Florida?
Sometimes. But don't automatically assume that you can get your drug charges dismissed. In many cases, you will likely have to go to court and appear before a judge. In such cases, you often need to demonstrate to the judge and prosecutor that you are actively working to address any addiction-related issues. A judge or prosecutor will also likely need to approve a request to enroll in an approved drug treatment facility as an alternative to serving a jail sentence. That's why it's critical that you have a lawyer who has good working relationships with judges and prosecutors and thoroughly understands Florida's legal system. That's why you need Aguilar & Sieron.
Can I appeal my drug charge conviction in Florida?
Yes. You can and should appeal any drug conviction in Florida if you have legal grounds to do so. Even if your charge seems minor, a previous conviction could make a dramatic difference if you are ever charged with the same crime in the future. Having a criminal record can also affect your ability to get a job and other important legal issues in the future. Contact us to learn more about how attorney Mark Sieron can help you.
Who rules on appeals for drug convictions in Florida?
A panel of appellate judges will likely rule on your appeal of a drug conviction. Common reasons why judges grant an appeal for drug conviction include:
- Police conducted an illegal search
- Police arrested individual without probable cause
- Police made illegal promises or coerced a person to admit to things they didn't do
- Physical evidence was stored improperly
- A person's civil rights were violated
There are many reasons why drug charges are dismissed on appeal. And our law firm has probably dealt with exactly that type of case. That's why we're eager to meet with you.
Why should I hire a lawyer to handle my Florida drug charge?
Experience matters. And that's never been more true than when it comes to hiring a lawyer to defend your legal rights if you've been charged with a drug crime in Florida. You often only have one opportunity to clear your name and get your charges dismissed or penalty reduced. That's why so many people in Clay County and the surrounding communities rely on Mark Sieron to help them make things right. A former Florida prosecutor, Mark knows what evidence to look for, what questions to ask and how to transform that information into a strong legal case. Find out what we can do for you. Contact Aguilar & Sieron right now.