hand holding small amount of cocaine in plastic bag

If you have been charged with possession of cocaine in Florida, you may be facing a third-degree felony. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug since it is not commonly used in medical treatment and is considered to have a high risk of abuse. The experienced drug defense team at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove might be able to get your cocaine charges dropped or reduced and help protect your legal rights along the way.

Punishment for Possession of Cocaine in Florida

In Florida, under Statute 893.13, it is considered to be a third-degree felony if a person is found to be in actual possession of fewer than 28 grams of cocaine. The punishment for this charge may include the following:

  • Five years in prison or probation
  • Fine of up to $5,000
  • Revocation of driver’s license for a period of up to two years

If the person is found to be in possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine, this is considered trafficking in cocaine and is a first-degree felony. The charges can include 30 years in prison or probation and a fine of $10,000. Depending on the actual amount of cocaine found in the person’s possession, the penalties can include a life sentence. It is also considered a first-degree felony if the offense occurred within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park, place of worship, or public housing, and the penalty can be up to 30 years in prison.

There are various factors, in addition to the amount of cocaine found in your possession, that can determine your punishment. These factors include your criminal history, what judge is assigned to your case, and what court your case will be heard in. The minimum penalties given for possession of cocaine can often be:

  • Probation with community service
  • An evaluation for substance abuse
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Urine tests to ensure that you stay clean

In addition, a conviction on a charge of possession of cocaine could result in loss of employment or educational opportunities and deportation if the defendant is not a citizen of the United States.

Proving Possession of Cocaine

You could be found to be in the actual possession of cocaine if the substance was in your hand or in a container, within your reach, or within your control. Constructive possession is different from actual possession and means that the substance was not found to be directly on you but was in your presence, and you had the ability to control it.

In order to be found guilty of the possession of cocaine, the following must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The substance found was cocaine.
  • You had possession of the substance.
  • You had knowledge of the cocaine.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you have been charged with the possession of cocaine, handling your defense without the assistance of a drug defense lawyer can be a challenge. An attorney can help explain your legal rights and determine the best defense for your case based on the evidence they gather. In addition, if the substance was obtained through an illegal search by law enforcement or you had no knowledge of the cocaine because it belonged to someone else, this can be used to support your case. Charges can often be dismissed if there is not enough evidence to prove that you were in possession of cocaine.

Contact a Skilled Drug Defense Attorney

Possession of cocaine is a serious charge. If you or a loved one has been arrested and is facing charges for cocaine possession in Florida, you need a skilled Fort Lauderdale drug defense attorney to help with your case. We can answer any questions you may have and help ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case. To set up an initial consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Robert David Malove online or by calling our office at 954-861-0384.