West Palm Beach Drug Crime Lawyer
Drug offenses are among the most common types of crimes committed in West Palm Beach County. Even possessing a small county of illegal drugs or medications without a prescription can result in serious penalties, while larger amounts of narcotic could result in state and federal charges, along with a lengthy prison sentence. In these situations, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer, working hard on your behalf.
Scott Berry Law, P.A. has been representing clients facing drug charges for over 15 years. As well respected members of the legal community, our West Palm Beach drug crime lawyers can assist you in strategizing the best course of defense. Whether dealing with local courts or federal prosecuting attorneys, we provide the highly trained and effective legal representation you need to protect your rights and defend your freedom.
Professional Legal Representation Against Drug Crime Charges In Florida
Under Section 893.13 of the Florida Statutes, it is illegal to possess, manufacture, sell, purchase, or deliver a number of different drugs in the state of Florida. The most common drug offenses concern marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and some prescription medications. Possession of a drug can be proven in two ways: actual or constructive possession. Actual possession occurs where the individual is found with the drugs on his person. Constructive possession occurs where the drugs are within the control of the person and the person has knowledge of their existence, even though they are not actually found on the person. The penalty is the same regardless of which type of possession is proven. The penalties for these various offenses depend on the type of substance involved, the amount of the substance involved, and the activity involved (for instance, sale or trafficking may carry a greater sentence than possession). Depending on the situation, these may include:
- Fines and court costs, which can run into tens of thousands of dollars;
- Mandatory community service;
- Mandatory drug and alcohol counseling and education classes;
- Jail sentences in either local, state, or federal facilities for up to 10 years or more.
To protect yourself against these penalties, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. At Scott Berry Law, P.A., we deal with law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys on your behalf, disputing the evidence against you while fighting to get your charges dropped or reduced. In the event of a conviction, we may be able to negotiate alternative sentencing that eliminates the negative impacts a jail sentence can have on your job and your family. We can also gather the evidence needed to file an appeal on your behalf. Contact our experienced West Palm Beach drug crime lawyers today, we can help.
Helping You Avoid A Potential Jail Sentence
Generally, as the amount of the substance you are accused of having in your possession increases, so do the maximum penalties involved. Often, there are mandatory minimum prison sentences that must be imposed for drug offenses. These mandatory minimum sentences typically arise in cases where the government has chosen to charge the individual with trafficking in the substance.
Trafficking does not necessarily mean sale. Under Florida law, trafficking can consist of simply possessing a certain amount of an illegal substance. A mandatory minimum sentence is a sentence that must be imposed upon conviction for the crime (i.e. the judge does not have any discretion to not impose the sentence), and it must be served day for day (the individual being sentenced is not entitled to any gain time as a matter of law). A judge does have discretion to impose a sentence greater than the mandatory minimum; however, the individual would be entitled to gain time on any part of the sentence beyond the mandatory minimum. Convictions for drug offenses also result in a 1 year driver’s license suspension, and certain trafficking offenses carry mandatory fines.
Defending Your Against Federal Drug Charges
If you are accused of possession of drugs and distributing or trafficking them across state lines, you could end up facing federal drug charges. According to the United States Sentencing Commision (USSC), roughly 40 percent of federal penitentiary prisoners are serving time for first time drug offenses. As mandatory minimum sentences apply in many federal drug cases, roughly half of those convicted face a sentence of eight years or more. To prevent these types of harsh penalties, you need an experienced drug crime lawyer on your side, and one who is familiar with the federal court system. At Scott Berry Law, P.A., you can trust our legal team to fight on your behalf. Our legal knowledge and skill, combined with our reasonable prices and fees, can help you get the best possible outcome in your drug crime case.
Contact Us Today for Help
State or federal drug charges are not something you want to face alone. You need an experienced West Palm Beach drug crime lawyer on your side to protect you against harsh penalties, including mandatory minimum prison sentences. Call or contact Scott Berry Law, P.A. online today and request a consultation to see how we can assist you.