Drug Charges Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL
If you face a drug crime charge, it is vital to have an aggressive and tactful Jacksonville drug crime defense lawyer on your side. The consequences of these convictions can be severe and may include incarceration, fines, and a criminal record. The only route to avoid these harsh penalties is to win your case at trial or negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor that can result in dismissal or reduction of the charges. Unless you are a highly trained and experienced lawyer yourself, you will need an attorney to protect your interests and help you navigate the criminal justice system. The risk is simply too great to try to represent yourself.
At Gates Law Firm, I have extensive experience handling all types of drug cases, from simple possession to complex conspiracy cases involving multiple defendants. I will investigate your case and aggressively defend your rights at every stage of the proceedings. Connect with us today to learn how I can help you achieve the best outcome possible in your case.
What Are the Different Types of Drug Charges in Jacksonville, FL?
The drug charge you face will depend on the type and amount of drugs involved, as well as your prior criminal history. The most common types of drug charges include:
- Drug Possession: This is the most basic type of drug charge and simply means that you were found to be in possession of drugs without a valid prescription. Depending on the type and amount of drug involved, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. In order to prove your guilt, the State will likely proceed on a theory of actual or constructive possession which each have necessary elements that an experienced defense attorney can focus.
- Drug Possession with intent to sell: This is a more serious charge than simple possession and is based on the assumption that you were planning to sell the drugs you were carrying. This charge can be difficult to prove, and your attorney may be able to attack the prosecution’s accusations to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
- Drug Trafficking: This is the most serious type of drug charge and is based on the assumption that you were involved in the sale, transportation, or distribution of a certain amount of drugs. If convicted of trafficking, you can face mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 3 years in prison to a much longer time in prison.
- Drug Conspiracy: This charge is often filed alongside other drug charges and means that you were involved in a conspiracy to commit a drug-related offense. A conspiracy can be difficult to prove because the prosecutor must show that you had a formal agreement with someone else to commit a crime.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a Drug Conviction in Jacksonville, FL?
The penalties you face for a drug conviction depend on the charge type and your prior criminal history. Generally, the penalties for drug convictions can include:
- Incarceration: The length of incarceration will depend on the charge but can range from a few days or weeks for a misdemeanor charge to life in prison for a felony trafficking charge.
- Fines: The amount of the fine will also depend on the charge but can range from a few hundred dollars for a misdemeanor charge to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a felony trafficking charge.
- Probation: This sentence allows you to remain out of jail or prison but requires you to adhere to certain conditions set by the court. The length of probation will depend on the charge but can range from a few months to several years.
- Loss of driver’s license: You may lose your driver’s license if convicted of a drug-related offense. This is intended to be a deterrent to prevent you from driving while under the influence of drugs.
- Loss of professional license: You may also lose your professional license if convicted of a drug-related offense. This can include your license to practice law, medicine, or nursing, among others.
While all of these penalties can be significant, you must remember that you have rights and potential options if you’ve been charged with a drug offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you comprehend those options and fight to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
What Are Some Defenses to Drug Charges?
The defense you can assert will depend on the facts of your case, but some common defenses to drug charges in Jacksonville, FL include:
- Illegal search and seizure: A very common defense to drug charges is that the police conducted an illegal search and seizure, which led to the discovery of the drugs. If the police did not have a warrant or probable cause but searched your home or your person, then any evidence they found as a result of the search could be inadmissible in court. This can often result in the charges being dismissed.
- Lack of knowledge: Another common defense is that you did not know that the drugs were drugs. Knowledge is one of two necessary elements required to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the State and the lack thereof may lead to the charges being reduced or dismissed, the charges might be reduced or dismissed.
- Entrapment: This defense is based on the argument that you would not have committed the offense if you had not been lured or coerced into doing so by the police. This defense also applies to confidential informants or other agents of the government. It can be a difficult defense to prove, but if you show that the police engaged in illegal or unethical behavior to get you to commit the offense, the charges might be reduced or dismissed.
These are just a few of the possible defenses to drug charges. Again, an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the facts of your case and determine which defenses may apply.
Contact Gates Law Firm Today
If you’ve been charged with an unlawful drug offense, it’s important to contact an experienced Jacksonville drug crime attorney as soon as possible. At Gates Law Firm, I have extensive experience defending clients against all types of drug charges. I will develop a top-notch defense strategy that is designed to get the best outcome possible and preserve your innocence. Contact us today.