Experienced Florida Lawyer Defends Clients Against Drug Charges
Orlando attorney well-versed in drug trafficking cases
Florida state and federal law enforcement authorities treat drugs offenses very seriously, especially, because the state is a favored route for drug trafficking from overseas. If you are arrested on drug charges, you need capable defense counsel to protect your rights and work towards the best possible resolution of your case. In Orlando and vicinity, The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. will challenge the case against you, including any law enforcement actions that may have violated your constitutional rights. Mr. Yates works towards positive outcomes, which can include dismissal of charges, admission to a diversion program, probation, or lenient sentencing. When justice requires taking the case to trial, he draws on 25 years of courtroom experience to fight aggressively on your behalf.
Lawyer knowledgeable in Florida drug laws
Mr. Yates provides clients with the professional representation they need when charged with:
- Possession of illegal drugs, as well as the unlawful possession of legal drugs such as prescription medications
- Sale of illegal drugs and the unlawful sale of prescription drugs
- Trafficking, which includes manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs as well as possession of large quantities
The drug laws in Florida are extremely severe. All Florida drug offenses result in driver license suspensions upon formal conviction. Facing these charges demands the skill and attention of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney like Mr. Yates.
Understanding the Florida drug schedules
Florida Statutes §893.03 categorizes illicit drugs, known as controlled dangerous substances, according to the following schedules, depending on their health risks and potential for abuse:
- Schedule I — Heroin and LSD are among the types of drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. .
- Schedule II — Cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, PCP, and Fentanyl are in this group. They have some accepted medical use but also a high potential for abuse and also for psychic and physical dependence. .
- Schedule III — Anabolic steroids are examples of drugs with an accepted medical use and with less potential for abuse, though they may lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence.
- Schedule IV —Valium, Xanax and other tranquilizers have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and their abuse may lead to limited psychological and physical dependence.
- Schedule V — This category includes prescription medicines that contain small amounts of narcotics. They have the least potential for abuse and have a limited risk of physical or psychological dependence. .
Marijuana was once a Schedule I drug but now is regulated under its own statute. Possession of small amounts of marijuana for medicinal use may be permitted. However, persons without prescriptions can be criminally charged.
State penalties for possession of controlled dangerous substances
The penalties for possessing, selling or distributing a controlled dangerous substance in Florida can be severe:
- Marijuana — Except for permitted medicinal use, possession of less than 20 grams is a first degree misdemeanor calling for up to 1 year jail and a $1,000 fine. You can also lose your driver’s license for up to two years. Possession of more than 20 ounces is a felony, with penalties ranging from three to 15 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
- Schedule I drug — Possession of more than 10 grams of any Schedule I drug is a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Schedules II through V — Possession of any other controlled dangerous substances is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Drug trafficking, a first degree felony, draws the highest penalties, with prison terms ranging to a maximum of thirty years.