Those arrested for cocaine possession or selling the drug may face severe consequences Statutes found in Florida’s criminal code allow for harsh punishments if a jury renders a guilty verdict. Guilt requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and those arrested on cocaine charges have a chance to defend themselves.
Cocaine laws in Florida
Possession of fewer than 28 grams of cocaine in Florida is a third-degree felony. Anyone arrested in possession of 28 grams or more faces trafficking charges, a first-degree felony. Selling cocaine lists as a second-degree felony and comes with stricter sentencing requirements when a sale occurs near a school.
Persons convicted of trafficking cocaine will find the sentences vary depending on the amount of cocaine trafficked. Anyone convicted of trafficking 28 grams to 200 grams faces a $50,000 fine and three years in prison. Someone convicted of trafficking more than 150 kilograms might receive a life sentence.
Drug charge defenses
Those dealing with Florida drug charges could explore appropriate defense strategies based on the specifics of their cases. Some cases involve procedural errors and misconduct by the police, such as failing to procure a proper warrant or the lack of probable cause. Instances in which police coercion or intimidation forced witnesses to make statements may erode a prosecutor’s case.
Questions about whether someone truly possessed the contraband could factor heavily into the defense. Persons who do not know drugs are present inside their home, vehicle or other property might not possess the drugs from a legal standpoint. Therefore, possession or trafficking charges could be dismissed if the defendant show proof they did not know about the drugs.
Other effective defenses could counter the prosecutor. However, in some situations, plea bargaining might be advisable.