Orlando Drug Crimes Attorney

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Providing an Aggressive Defense for Clients Accused of Florida Drug Offenses

Panella Law Firm Accepts Cases Throughout Florida

Tens of thousands of people are behind bars in Florida for drug crimes. If you were arrested and want a chance to avoid joining those individuals for an extended stay, you need an Orlando drug charge lawyer to defend you during your case.

Illegal drugs are common in Florida and support an enormous underground industry. Those involved potentially face state and federal drug charges if caught. If this has happened to you, Panella Law Firm can help. Whether you’re facing charges for state or federal drug crimes, our criminal defense attorneys have experience providing clients with the legal assistance necessary to protect their freedom. Call our law firm to discuss your case with trusted Orlando drug charge lawyers who are ready to fight for you.

How Are Controlled Substances Categorized in Florida?

Your arrest may be due to drugs that have legitimate medical uses but are illegal if used recreationally or sold outside legal channels. On the other hand, some drugs are strictly illegal, and anyone caught with them may be arrested.

Florida law categorizes drugs into five schedules that include long lists of specific drugs. They include the following:

  •  Schedule 1: A substance with a high potential for abuse with no currently accepted medical use in the U.S.; its use under medical supervision does not meet safety standards.
  •  Schedule 2: A substance with a high potential for abuse, but also has a currently accepted (but severely restricted) medical use in the U.S. Misuse of this substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
  •  Schedule 3: A substance with a potential for abuse, but less than the drugs in Schedules 1 and 2. It has an accepted medical use in the U.S. Abusing the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence or, in the case of anabolic steroids, may lead to physical harm.
  •  Schedule 4: A substance with a low potential for abuse compared to those in Schedule 3. It has an accepted medical use in the U.S. Misuse may cause limited physical or psychological dependence compared to Schedule 3 substances.
  •  Schedule 5: A substance, compound, mixture, or preparation of a substance with low potential for abuse compared to substances in Schedule 4. It has an accepted medical use in the United States. Abuse of these materials may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence compared to Schedule 4 substances.

Depending on your drug offenses, a qualified drug charge defense lawyer may be able to show that the substance at issue in your case is not an illegal drug. To learn more about how an Orlando drug crime lawyer would handle your case, call our Florida law firm for a free consultation.

What Are Some Drug Charges You Might Face in Florida?

Florida statute §893.13 states that a person may not sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess, with intent to sell, a controlled substance (unless it is used for a legal purpose). Under certain circumstances, penalties for these actions can increase when they occur on or within 1,000 feet of:

  •  A childcare facility
  •  A school between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight
  •  A park
  •  A community center
  •  A publicly owned recreational facility
  • A college, university, church, or religious organization

There are also restrictions on what physicians and others who prescribe legal prescription drugs can do.

Federal drug charges fall into three classes of prohibited acts. They are:

Class A: To manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance or to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

Class B: To break the law concerning the handling, storage, sale, inspection, and record-keeping of controlled substances.

Class C: Engaging in fraud to get a controlled substance, using a false federal drug registration number, being involved with making or selling counterfeit drugs, and trying to get around federal law by creating a new substance.

Class A crimes cover a wide range of acts involving illegal drugs. Classes B and C aim to prevent legitimate drug businesses from contributing to or profiting from unlawful and counterfeit drugs.

If you are facing federal drug charges, you should get legal guidance from Orlando drug crime lawyers. When your future is at stake, you need an experienced attorney on your side. You will find that with Panella Law Firm. You can count on us to aggressively defend your rights when you face drug crime charges, so call us for a consultation.

What Are the Florida Drug Penalties To Know About?

State drug convictions can result in life-altering penalties that cost time and money, ultimately disrupting your plans for your future. Depending on your state drug-related charge, you could face anywhere from one to 30 years in a Florida state prison. Additionally, fines range from $500 to $10,000.

For instance, if your Florida drug possession charges state that you were caught with a small amount of heroin, cocaine, meth, or any other controlled substance, you’re facing a third-degree felony possession charge. This can result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If you’re caught with a high quantity of any controlled substance and are accused of drug trafficking, you’ll be charged with a first-degree felony, which can result in up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

If convicted of felony drug offense charges in Florida, your penalties could also include driver’s license suspension, probation, community service, and other consequences. Ultimately, the penalties for drug crime cases take into consideration the person’s past criminal record, the type and quantity of the controlled substance, and any minimum mandatory sentences associated with the drug crime charges.

Like state sentences, the federal sentences involved in a federal drug investigation are also driven by the facts of the crime and the person’s criminal history. Whether yours is a state or federal prosecution, you need a savvy, experienced drug charge defense lawyer to see that you receive the most lenient sentence possible for your case involving a drug-related crime. Call our law firm to schedule a free consultation with an Orlando drug crimes lawyer you can rely on.

What Are the Legal Standards for Being Stopped, Arrested, and Convicted on a Florida Drug Crime?

Drug charges in Florida can begin in a variety of ways. Drug possession charges are often the result of someone being stopped and frisked by police or vehicles being pulled over and searched. In some cases, law enforcement finds drugs unexpectedly when executing a search warrant for a different crime.

Some drug arrests occur because police receive tips that someone has observed acts that appear to involve drug dealing, leading to an investigation and arrest. It is common for people involved in low-level dealing to cooperate with investigations and inform others involved. Therefore, you may be implicated by someone cooperating with the police.

Undercover agents might also be used to find evidence of a Florida drug offense. They may pose as drug buyers, dealers, distributors, or someone involved in illegal money laundering. When this is the case, a defense may be that you were entrapped, which suggests that the crime was the agent’s idea and he induced you to engage in it. Your Florida drug crimes lawyer will review the details of your case to determine if entrapment was the reason for your arrest.

In fact, experienced Orlando drug crime attorneys routinely look for evidence of police wrongdoing, since some drug crimes cases are built on evidence that was illegally gathered by law enforcement. It’s important to know that police officers need a well-founded, reasonable suspicion of criminal activity based on the facts and circumstances before detaining someone for a drug offense or another more serious crime. If the law enforcement officers cannot demonstrate sufficient grounds to justify that suspicion, the evidence obtained may not be used at trial and your charges for drug violations can be dismissed.

If your case proceeds to the next step in the criminal justice system, the prosecution will try to get a conviction by proving beyond all reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. Each drug charge has different elements that must be established. When they’re not proven, you should be found innocent of the charge, although you may be found guilty of another lesser crime. Successful trials for criminal defendants usually occur because the evidence and the arguments made by lawyers create a reasonable doubt for the jury.

Even after seeing the evidence presented in court, a jury member may think you might have committed the crime but still not be convinced enough to find you guilty. They may not find the prosecution witnesses’ testimony credible or have problems with the prosecution’s evidence. Additionally, some prosecutors’ cases are weakened when evidence is excluded from trial due to an illegal search. In other cases, statements made by a defendant may not have been used at trial because a law enforcement officer failed to give the required Miranda warnings. Fortunately, a seasoned drug crimes lawyer knows how to leverage the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to benefit clients.

Why Do You Need Legal Help from an Orlando Drug Crime Attorney?

You can hire an experienced attorney, such as a divorce lawyer, or represent yourself if you do not qualify for a public defender. However, given the possible impact of a guilty verdict on you and your family, representing yourself is a bad idea now and in the future. Even attorneys experienced in other areas of law are advised to avoid representing themselves if they face criminal prosecution for drug offenses or other crimes.

Whether you plan to assert an aggressive defense and go through the trial process or hope to make a favorable plea bargain on your drug crime case, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows the law, criminal justice system, prosecutors, and judges. Do not take a chance with your future when expert legal help is available.

When you hire our skilled team, you’ll get our assistance with the following steps of your case:

  •  Discovery motions: If you were charged with a drug crime, you have the right to see all evidence that will be used against you. We can file discovery motions to obtain that evidence, which we can use to build a strong defense.
  •  Negotiations: If you plan to negotiate with the prosecutor, you need a criminal defense attorney to help you. In some situations, we might be able to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge, and we may get many drug crime charges dismissed altogether.
  •  Defense strategy: We will determine how to best defend you. For example, we can say that the police did not have probable cause to search your property, which could get some evidence thrown out. Or, we can say that certain pieces of evidence are unreliable because the equipment was not calibrated properly or the sample was not stored correctly.
  •  Appeals: If you are convicted, we can file an appeal on your behalf. This could get the conviction thrown out or overturned.

If you are being investigated for drug crimes, there is nothing more important than getting qualified defense counsel. If you want to beat a drug charge, you need the right attorney for the job. Panella Law Firm’s drug crimes lawyers can provide you with some of the best strategies and effectiveness in Florida.

Your case matters, and the sooner we get involved, the faster we can start building a solid defense that will protect your freedom and future. If you’ve been accused of serious drug offenses, including controlled substance possession and drug trafficking charges, call us at 407-602-6559 for a free consultation with Orlando drug crimes lawyers who will work hard to get a favorable outcome on your case.

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