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New Port Richey Drug Lawyer

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Florida State Bar Association

Florida Drug Law Overview

Florida and the federal government have laws against unlawful use, possession, distribution or production of certain drugs. These include cocaine, heroin, marijuana and amphetamines. The laws aim to reduce illegal drug use and cut down on drug-related crimes.

There are five categories, or "schedules," of drugs based on their potential for dependency and abuse as compared with their therapeutic value. Schedule I controlled substances have the highest potential for dependency and no accepted medical use. Schedule V drugs have a low potential for dependency and accepted medical uses.

The most severe penalties for illegal possession, sale or manufacture of drugs involve those listed in Schedule I. The Attorney General has the authority to delete, add or reschedule drugs. State schedules refer to or are based on federal schedules.

Punishment

New Port Richey Drug defense

The punishment for drug crimes in Florida generally depends on:

  • The quantity of the drug
  • Its classification under the schedules
  • The purpose of possession

The most serious drug crimes are:

  • Producing illegal drugs
  • Manufacturing drugs
  • Selling drugs

Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them is a serious crime. Prosecutors can prove your intent to distribute drugs just by showing the quantity of the drug, without any evidence you actually distributed the drug.

In most states, possession of drugs for personal use is a serious crime. But in some states, possession of drugs for personal use is punished less severely than distribution crimes. For example, in some states, possession of a small amount of marijuana (less than 50 grams) is decriminalized or treated as a disorderly person's offense. If there's a conviction, the punishment is often probation or a fine, and not prison. However, possessing larger amounts of illegal drugs, even for personal use, may be a serious crime.

Most minimum sentences range from one year in jail to three years in prison for first-time offenders. The minimum sentences for repeat offenders? Three to 12 years in prison.

Enhanced Punishment

Some states have enhanced penalties for drug crimes. These apply if:

  • Minors are used to distribute the drugs
  • The drugs are delivered or sold to minors
  • The drugs are sold or distributed near schools

Enhanced punishments vary by state. You may also be in danger of "forfeiting" your property if you're convicted of a drug crime. For example, if your house is used to make and distribute drugs, the government may be able to seize it.

Professional Drug Dealers

Special laws cover professional drug dealers. A "drug kingpin," or a person organizing, financing or managing a business to manufacture, transport or sell drugs, commits a serious crime.

There are special sentences for professional drug dealers. Federal law even has the death penalty for drug kingpins. Some states impose 25 years in prison without parole for professional drug dealers.

Questions for Your Florida Drug Lawyer

  • Do I need a lawyer if I'm going to plead guilty to a drug crime charge?
  • What are Florida drug schedules?
  • What are Florida sentencing guidelines?


About Attorney Samuel Williams


New Port Richey DUI Lawyer

Sam was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983. He worked as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit of Florida where he prosecuted felonies, misdemeanors and DUI offenses. He then joined his father’s practice in New Port Richey, Florida, where he continued to specialize in criminal law. His father, Richard C. Williams, remained of counsel to Sam’s practice until 2006. In 1994 Sam was board-certified by the Florida Bar in Criminal Trial Law. He has been lead counsel in excess of 100 jury trials, ranging from misdemeanors and DUI to First Degree Murder Charges. Over the years he has established a strong relationship with his colleagues, prosecutors, judges and court staff. These relationships have been critical in helping him advocate for, and achieve, the best results for his clients.

Education

• Wake Forest University, B.A. (1980) – Double Major in History/Communications
• Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Juris Doctor (1983)
– Member Law Review

Memberships

• Florida Bar Association
• National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
• Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL)
• Pasco County Criminal Defense Lawyers
• West Pasco Chamber of Commerce
• Rotary Club of New Port Richey, Past President

The Law Offices of Samuel J. Williams

The Law Offices of Samuel J. Williams is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts. They provide jial visits and payment plans are available. If You Want to Learn More About Our Firm You Should Contact us at (727)-845-8701.
Samuel Williams, Criminal Lawyer, represents clients in Hillsborough, Levy, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, & Sumter.