Possession of Synthetic Drugs - Orlando Drug Possession Attorneys
Florida Statute 893.13 makes it a third-degree felony or first-degree misdemeanor offense to possess synthetic drugs such as spice, K2 and other substances that are similar in chemical structure to those that are illegal, depending on the weight of the drug involved. Illegal synthetic drugs are considered controlled substances and included in Florida Statute Section 893.03, standards and schedules of controlled substances. At Adams & Luka, our Orlando drug crimes lawyers know there are circumstances in which someone may not be in actual possession of a drug, or have no idea a substance in their possession is unlawful. Prosecutors are vigorous in their efforts to punish those they suspect possess or sell, distribute, or traffic illegal drugs. We work diligently to protect the legal rights and freedom of those who have been arrested or charged with possessing an illicit substance.What Must the State Prove to Secure a Guilty Verdict?
There are specific elements of any crime the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with possession of synthetic drugs, prosecutors have three elements that must be proven.
- You were in possession of a specific unlawful substance;
- The substance you were in possession of was a certain synthetic drug;
- You had knowledge that synthetic drugs were present.
It is important to understand the differences between actual and constructive possession when you are arrested for or charged with synthetic drug possession in Florida. Actual possession occurs when you have a synthetic drug in your hand, on your person, or the drug is under your control and within easy reach. Constructive possession means the drugs are located in an area you have control of, such as your home or vehicle. Prosecutors have a more difficult time proving constructive possession, as a substance could be under the control of someone else who was in the location (vehicle, home) at the time of the incident.Penalties for Possession of Synthetic Drugs in Florida
Whether you are charged with a first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony depends on whether you were in possession of more than three (3) grams of synthetic drugs. A conviction will result in penalties that may include:
- A maximum of one (1) year in jail
- Up to one (1) year of probation
- $1,000 fine
- A maximum of five (5) years in prison
- Up to five (5) years of probation
- $5,000 fine
Additionally, those found guilty of either a misdemeanor or felony will face a one year driver's license suspension.Defenses to Synthetic Drug Possession Charges
What defense strategy would be most effective when fighting allegations of drug possession depends on the facts of your individual case. Some of the most common include:
- Illegal search & seizure
- Lack of knowledge
- Constructive possession
Police often violate an individual's Fourth Amendment rights in these types of cases; for instance, you may have been searched by an officer without voluntarily giving your consent. It may be a situation in which you had no knowledge that the substance in your possession was an illegal drug. Perhaps although the synthetic drugs were in your vehicle, they actually belonged to another person in your car. There are numerous defenses that may prove useful in securing an acquittal.Contact Adams & Luka Today
When charged with a drug crime it can be the most frightening and stressful time in your life. It is critical to work with an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney who will answer your questions, guide you through the complex criminal justice system and explore all possible legal options in an effort to have charges dismissed, or to obtain a not-guilty verdict should your case go to trial. If you are facing possession of synthetic drugs charges, contact Adams & Luka immediately for a free consultation at 407-872-0307.