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Criminal Attorneys Serving Defendants Throughout Florida

If you have been arrested for any type of drug-related offense, such as possession, distribution, cultivation, manufacturing, or trafficking, you will need to retain a Boca Raton drug crime lawyer who has the skill and the determination to defend your rights during the entire criminal process, all the way through to a trial. Robert G. Whittel devotes a large portion of his practice to defending drug charges. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Whittel has experience with both sides of a criminal case and uses this vital knowledge to his clients' benefit. Since he also has a thorough understanding of Florida law and federal law regarding drug crimes, he can determine which defense strategy is most likely to meet with success in the courtroom.

At the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, we have many consultation locations from which we offer aggressive criminal defense strategies to people accused of all types of drug crimes throughout Florida. Our South Florida clients are best served from our Boca Raton location, no matter if the case is being litigated in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Stuart. We offer a free case evaluation regarding your drug charges to see how we may be able to help you.

Drug Crimes

Drugs are divided into five schedules based on the likelihood of abuse, with Schedule I drugs having no accepted medical use and a high likelihood of abuse, while Schedule V drugs hold the least likelihood of abuse. Florida Statutes section 893.13 mandates that someone may not sell, make, or deliver a controlled substance, or possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell, make, or deliver it. The state also prohibits simple possession, driving under the influence of drugs, drug trafficking, and other related crimes. The penalties for drug crimes depend mostly on the type of drug with which you are caught and the amount of the drug, but other circumstances also can factor into the penalties, such as whether you have prior convictions and whether violence or guns were involved. A drug crime attorney at our Boca Raton office can advise you on the potential consequences of your charges.

Drug Possession

Drug possession can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. There are different kinds of drug possession, including possession of a chemical known to make drugs, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of more than 10 grams of a controlled substance, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, and felony drug possession. If you are caught with more than 20 grams of marijuana, for example, you can face a state prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000. If you possess what is called a threshold amount of a certain drug, you can face drug trafficking charges even if you are not actually involved in a trafficking operation.

Drug Possession for Sale

Under Florida Statutes section 893.13(a), someone is prohibited from possessing a controlled substance with the intent to make, sell, or deliver it. The prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed a certain substance with the intent to make, sell, or deliver it, that the substance was a controlled substance as defined under Section 893.03, and that you knew the illegal nature of the substance. A Boca Raton drug crime attorney may be able to attack the prosecution’s ability to prove one or more of these elements. Possession for sale can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the quantity and type of drugs involved. Generally, it is a more serious charge than simple possession.

Drug Distribution

Drug distribution can be one of the most serious drug charges in Florida. You can be prosecuted for drug distribution related to drug trafficking if you are distributing a threshold amount of a certain drug. A mandatory minimum sentence may be imposed, which means that the judge does not have discretion. For example, if you are caught distributing marijuana in a quantity between 25 and 2,000 pounds, it likely will be charged as trafficking, and you can face a minimum of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. On the other hand, if distribution is charged as possession with intent to sell, it may be charged as a third-degree felony, which can be punished with five years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.

Drug Cultivation

Drug cultivation involves the tending, growing, nurturing, or processing of marijuana. You can face misdemeanor or felony charges for drug cultivation, and the quantity will affect the sentence. Cultivation for personal use is a lesser crime that is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with cultivation with intent to distribute, this is a felony offense, which means that you can be punished with at least one year in state prison. Therefore, you should contact a drug crime lawyer in the Boca Raton area who can investigate your available defenses.

Drug Manufacturing

Drug manufacturing is charged when someone is creating controlled substances by using chemicals. Some drugs that are commonly associated with manufacturing charges are methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and LSD. Potential sentences can include 5-30 years in prison, fines, and drug rehabilitation or counseling. It can be easy to create methamphetamine and other controlled substances by using over-the-counter ingredients, which means that some people make drugs in home laboratories, and this can result in explosions or fires due to the volatility of the chemicals. The police sometimes use overzealous tactics because of the risks involved in drug manufacturing, and you can get evidence suppressed if you can establish that your constitutional rights were violated.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking can be charged whenever a threshold amount of a substance is involved in an activity. Different substances have different threshold amounts for the purposes of drug trafficking charges. You can be charged even if you have no ties to the criminal underworld. Drug trafficking should be taken very seriously because mandatory minimum sentences of incarceration are imposed upon a conviction. Our Boca Raton drug crime lawyers will leave no stone unturned in your defense.

Drug Importation

Organized drug trafficking often involves drug importation from the Caribbean, Cuba, and Mexico. Cocaine is a commonly imported controlled substance, sometimes hidden in mules (people or animals that carry the drugs) or as legal cargo. It is important to realize that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and police are not on your side, and you should get an experienced attorney involved right away if you are under investigation or accused of drug importation. However, you should not assume that a conviction is guaranteed. Sometimes it is possible to raise a Fourth Amendment or other constitutional defense to drug importation charges.

Drug Transportation

Drug transportation occurs when drugs are moved from one location to another. If you are caught transporting drugs across state lines, you may face federal charges. Federal agencies like the DEA or FBI may be involved. These agencies have vast resources, and they often fight hard to get maximum sentencing for a drug crime. Whether you are accused of transporting cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, or heroin, the penalties can be harsh, including years in prison and massive fines. The drug crime lawyers at our Boca Raton firm can work to minimize or avert these penalties.

Juvenile Drug Crimes

Children make mistakes. If your son or daughter is accused of a juvenile drug crime, you may be understandably concerned about his or her future. Whether a juvenile is arrested for possession or distribution, the potential for serious harm stemming from the sentence is great. It is important to make sure that the emphasis of any outcome is on rehabilitation. Our firm has former Juvenile Drug Crime prosecutors and trial attorneys who understand how the juvenile criminal process works and how to craft a strong defense.

Drug DUI

It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Florida. A driver is under the influence of drugs if his or her normal faculties are impaired due to consuming drugs. You can be convicted if you are found to have been in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances or harmful chemicals. Controlled substances include hallucinogens, stimulants, opiates, opioids, benzodiazepines, and cannabinoids. Actual physical control occurs when a driver not only is in the vehicle but also has the capacity to operate it.

Retain a Drug Crime Attorney in Boca Raton

If you are suspected of having committed a drug crime, law enforcement and prosecutors will take your actions seriously. It is important to retain an attorney if you are being investigated or if you have been accused. Seasoned criminal defense attorney Robert Whittel has years of experience and will fight to protect your rights. Call us at 866-608-5LAW or 561-367-8777, or contact us via our online form.

Florida Criminal Attorney Blog - Drug Crimes
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