Drug Sales & Manufacturing Attorney
Drug Sales & Manufacturing
Drugs sales and drug manufacturing in Florida are felonies that are vigorously prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office and United States Attorney’s Office. The punishments for these crimes are also harsh as judges and prosecutors often have little sympathy for those convicted of these types of crimes. A criminal defense lawyer in Pinellas County can fight for your rights and prepare a defense strategy that can significantly reduce your penalties.
Experienced Legal Protection for Drug Sales & Manufacturing Crimes
Sean McQuaid has been successfully defending adults and juveniles charged with crimes for over 19 years. Mr. McQuaid is a named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for 60 years has been providing the Tampa Bay area with exceptional legal assistance. Mr. McQuaid is highly respected by the State and the Judges at the Pinellas Justice Center and has received a perfect ranking from numerous review sources from his peers, the judges he practices in front of and his clients and their families.
If you need a Drug Sales and Manufacturing Attorney in Pinellas County, please contact Sean McQuaid today for a free consultation.
How are Drug Sales defined vs Possession With Intent to Sell?
In Florida, a drug sale is a crime that occurs when one gives money or something of value to another in exchange for an illegal narcotic. The drugs can be sold directly to an officer or to a confidential informant (CI) who then takes it to law enforcement. The drug must actually change hands.
However, just as common is a crime called Possession with Intent. It is committed when a person is found to possess illegal substances, with an intention to make money from selling or dealing with a third party. This offense can be charged when someone has not even sold a drug, but the circumstances were such that the police and prosecutors believed that the drugs were going to be sold. We see these charges commonly with someone in possession of a scale, or individual baggies or even a large quantity of cash on the person.
How is Drug Manufacturing defined in Florida?
In Florida, drug manufacturing is a crime where a person produces unlawful controlled substances or is found in possession of chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process. The charge is similar to cultivation.
To be convicted of drug manufacturing, the prosecution will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had an intention or involvement in the creation of illegal substances.
What if my child has been arrested for Drug Sales & Manufacturing?
In Florida each year, there is around a 10% rise in juvenile drug crimes. If your child has been caught up in a delivering or selling drugs, then there is great pressure to keep him/her from prison and to keep the criminal record clean. Often we see young people dealing in order to simply buy drugs for their own personal use. These types of cases can be mitigated by getting the young person drug rehab or counseling. Surprisingly, the State and the Courts can be sympathetic to these situations if handled appropriately.
Defense for Drug Sales
Anyone who was charged for selling drugs (or for the intent to) is usually arrested because of significant evidence collected by police, so innocence can be hard to claim. However, with the help of an attorney, there are various opportunities for defense.
- Questionable Witnesses
Witnesses, particularly CIs have terrible credibility and questionable motives behind their testimony. A good defense attorney can challenge the credibility of these types of witnesses and poke holes in the State’s case.
- Illegal Search and Seizure
Charges may also be dropped if there was an unlawful search and seizure. These cases occur when police stop and search an individual or their property without a warrant or valid reason.
- Lack of Knowledge
There is a chance you may have been unaware the substance you were selling was illegal in Florida, such as uncommon chemicals or medications.
Accusations of entrapment are one of the most common forms of defense. This is when police or confidential informants lure an individual into selling drugs so that they can obtain proof of the accused’s guilt.
Penalties for Drug Sales
The severity of punishments depends on various factors such as the quantity sold and the drug’s schedule classification under Florida law. Other factors include whether the accused had a weapon during the offense, the location of the sale, their age and any criminal history. However, general penalties are:
Schedule I and some Schedule II
Selling or intending to sell Schedule I substance is a felony of the second degree punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Schedule II, III and IV
Most Schedule II, III and IV substance are felonies of the third-degree. They are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree. Punishable by one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.
Florida Drug Schedules
Florida statute 893.03 classifies substances into different groups, known as ‘Drug Schedules.’
- Schedule I
This is the most severe ranking. These drugs have no medical use and have a high potential for abuse. Heroin and LSD are typical examples.
- Schedule II
These drugs have a high potential for abuse but have accepted medical use under strong restrictions. Abuse of Schedule II drugs can have severe psychic and physical dependence. They include crack, cocaine, morphine, oxycodone and opium.
- Schedule III
These drugs have a potential for abuse that is considered less than Schedule I or II drugs. They have accepted medical use, and abuse may lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence. Includes anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV
These drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, an acceptable medical use, and abuse may lead to limited psychological and physical dependence. A typical example is Diazepam.
- Schedule V
These drugs have the lowest potential for abuse, accepted medical use, and low risk of physical or psychological dependence. Common examples include medicines that contain small amounts of specified narcotic drugs.
If you’ve been arrested for a drug sales and manufacturing charge in St. Petersburg or Pinellas County then you should contact a criminal defense attorney.
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