Drug Charges

The War on Drugs is still alive and well in the United States. Thousands of people have been incarcerated for various drug crimes throughout the nation. Typically, the charges are for possession, selling, or manufacturing.

Drug crimes can incorporate more than street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Pharmaceutical drugs can also constitute a criminal offense. Distributing or possessing prescription drugs without any sort of authorization can result in criminal charges.

No matter the circumstances, drug charges carry heavy penalties. A drug offense can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Penalties can include steep fines, possible probation, required recommended treatment, or even potential incarceration.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, it is crucial that you contact a skilled attorney. With the aid of a strategic attorney, you can formulate a strong defense for your drug case.

Drug Crimes Attorney in St. Lucie County, Florida

Drug charges can carry severe legal consequences. A drug conviction can drastically affect your personal and professional life. Do not hesitate when it comes to your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell today.

Meltzer & Bell is a group of distinguished criminal defense attorneys in the St. Lucie County and Martin County area. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell are dedicated to their clients. We value open communication with each and every case. Our attorneys will consult with you throughout the legal process and uncover all legal options.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell represent those with drug crime allegations throughout the Treasure Coast area of Florida including Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter Island, and Rio.

Stay ahead of the prosecution. Contact us today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.

Overview for Drug Charges in Florida


Types of Drug Crimes in St. Lucie County, Florida

There are various types of drug crimes in Florida. The most common offenses for drug charges are usually possession or possession with intent to sell. However, there are many other kinds of drug offenses in Florida based on the circumstances.

The following are some types of drug crimes in Florida:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute
  • Marijuana Crimes
    • Trafficking Cannabis
    • Cultivation of Marijuana
    • Possession of Marijuana
  • Drug Trafficking
    • Possession of Prescription Drugs
    • Prescription Drug Trafficking
    • Cocaine Trafficking
    • Heroin Trafficking
    • LSD Trafficking
    • Methamphetamine Trafficking
    • Hydrocodone Trafficking
  • Driving While Impaired by Drugs (DWI/DUI)

Controlled Substances under Florida Law

If a person says the term “controlled substances,” you may think of drugs such as cocaine or cannabis. However, controlled substances incorporate more than street drugs. A controlled substance can also be a prescription drug such as Vicodin or Valium.

The following are some different controlled substances that are illegal or illegal without a prescription under Florida law.

  • Marijuana / Cannabis / Weed / Pot
  • Street Drugs
    • Heroin
    • Opium
    • Cocaine
    • MDMA/XTC (Ecstasy)
    • PCP (Phencyclidine)
    • Psilocybin Mushrooms
    • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
    • Methamphetamine / Meth / Crystal Meth
  • Prescription Drugs
    • OxyContin / Oxycodone
    • Vicodin / Hydrocodone
    • Xanax / Alprazolam
    • Ritalin / Adderall / Amphetamine
    • Valium / Diazepam
    • Demerol / Meperidine
    • Opioid / Fentanyl / Tramadol

Drug Schedules in Florida

Penalties for drug offenses are reliant on the circumstances and the schedule the substance falls under. Drug schedules are the classifications based on the drug’s medical value and abuse potential. Drug schedules are listed under the Controlled Substances Act under federal law.

The following are the drug schedules in Florida:

  • Schedule I
    • These drugs have the highest risk of abuse. The federal government does not believe that these drugs have any medical usage.
      • Examples are: Heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
  • Schedule II
    • Drugs under schedule II still have a high potential for drug abuse. They are not considered to be as deadly as Schedule I, but still have psychological and physical affects.
      • Examples are: Cocaine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, methamphetamine, Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, methadone, and meperidine.
  • Schedule III
    • The drugs under schedule II have a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.
      • Examples are: ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, testosterone, and anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule IV
    • Drugs in schedule IV have a lower risk of abuse, and can be used for medical purposes in some cases.
      • Examples are: Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Tramadol, Ambien, Talwin, Darvon, Darvocet, and Soma.
  • Schedule V
    • All drugs under schedule V has the lowest potential for abuse. Most of these drugs are used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.
      • Examples are: Lomotin, Robitussin, Motofen, Parepectolin, and Lyrica.

Possible Defenses for Drug Crimes in Florida

In most drug cases, law enforcement file charges after a search or a traffic stop. Even if the evidence of possessing drugs is very apparent, you can still implement a strong defense. A skilled attorney can suppress evidence, file motions, and uncover any mistakes created by law enforcement.

The right legal defense is reliant on the circumstances of your arrest. However, there are a few common defenses in drug offenses, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Entrapment;
  • The drugs were planted;
  • Unknowing possession;
  • Illegal search and/or seizure; and
  • Temporary possession.

Drug Treatment Courts in St. Lucie County & Martin County

Depending on the circumstances, a drug court may be offered to the alleged offender. The purpose of Florida’s drug courts is to rehabilitate those who suffer with a chemical dependency. A non-violent offender can choose to participate in a drug treatment program, and have their charges dismissed.

St. Lucie County:

Misdemeanor Drug Court
St. Lucie County Courthouse
218 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL
(727) 807-4388
Judge: Kathryn Nelson

Felony Drug Court
St. Lucie County Courthouse
218 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL
(727) 807 – 4388
Judge: Steven Levin

Juvenile Drug Court
St. Lucie County Courthouse
218 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL
(727) 807 – 4388
Judge: Seven Levin

 

Martin County:

Dependency Drug Court
Martin County Courthouse
100 East Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL
(772) 807 – 4388
Judge: Sherwood Bauer

 

Felony Drug Court
Martin County Courthouse
100 East Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL.
(772) 807 – 4388
Judge: Steven Levin

Juvenile Drug Court
Martin County Courthouse
100 East Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL.
(772) 807 – 4388
Judge: Sherwood Bauer


Additional Resources

Treasure Coast Drug Courts – Visit the official website for the Drug Courts for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Find more information regarding how to enter Florida’s drug courts, what types of crimes qualify for drug courts, and resources for those who have been accused of drug offenses.

Drug Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for Florida’s legislation. Read more on the statutory language for drug offenses in Florida. Find more information regarding drug crime penalties, admissible defenses, and the drug schedules.


Lawyer for Drug Offenses in 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida

When you are charged with a drug crime, the penalties can seem overwhelming. You may be facing steep fines and even jail time. It’s important that you are prepared for what is next in Florida’s justice system. Do not proceed any further without help. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have over 20 years of collective experience handling drug offenses in Florida. We are current with all drug crime legislation, and are constantly searching for more legal options for our clients. Additionally, our attorneys treat each client with the utmost care. Rest assured we will consult with you throughout the entire court process. Stay ahead of the prosecution now. Get in contact with the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell.

Meltzer & Bell practices criminal defense throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida including Stuart, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter Island.

Call today at (772) 291-2534, and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on September 5, 2018. 

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