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Arrested on drug charges? A Pensacola drug crime defense lawyer can help. Have the police arrested you or a loved one on drug charges in Pensacola? If so, you might have questions for a defense attorney such as:

  • What are my charges?
  • How much time could I spend in jail?
  • Do I need a lawyer? 
  • What options do I have for my case?

The drug crimes attorneys with Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon answer questions like this for people facing drug charges all of the time. 

Our Pensacola drug crime defense lawyers understand what you and your family are going through right now, and we are here to help. We have proudly protected the rights of people from Pensacola since 1913. Today, as our firm did over 100 years ago, we stake our reputation on each case.

What Are My Drug Charges?

The police and prosecutors in Pensacola take drug crimes very seriously. Florida prohibits the possession of any drug appearing on the state’s narcotics schedule without a valid prescription. 

Florida’s drug schedule classifies substances based on their danger, their potential for dependency, and their medical usefulness to a particular schedule. For example, heroin is a Schedule I drug, cocaine is a schedule II drug, and some prescription pills may fall into Schedules IV or V depending on their chemical composition. 

The charges you face depend on the schedule of the drug and other factors. As your Pensacola drug crime defense attorneys, we will discuss some of these factors below.

Illegal Possession of Narcotics

Florida law prohibits “simple” possession of narcotics. Simple possession refers to both actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means you have drugs on your person, such as in your pocket. Constructive possession means that you don’t have the drugs on you, but they are within your control, and you have an intent to possess them. For example, you could have constructive possession of marijuana if you have a joint in the center console of your car. 

Possession of Schedule V drugs is a second-degree misdemeanor. Also, possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, possession of any other drug is a third-degree felony if the quantity is under 10 grams. You could also face a third-degree felony if the substance, either alone or in combination with another substance, weighs more than 10 grams. 

Distribution of Controlled Substances

Controlled substances distribution generally refers to selling, delivering, and manufacturing drugs. However, narcotics distribution also refers to possessing drugs with the intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture under Florida law.

Controlled substance distribution is generally a felony. The degree of felony you could face depends on the assigned schedule of the drug. For instance, the distribution of controlled substances in Schedules I and II are either second-degree or third-degree felonies, depending on their chemical composition.

However, distributing 10 or more grams of a Schedule I drug is a first-degree felony charge. Meanwhile, distributing controlled substances from Schedule V is a first-degree misdemeanor. 

What Are the Possible Drug Penalties in Pensacola?

The penalties you face largely depend on your charges. According to Florida law, you could be sentenced as follows:

  • First-degree felony: up to 30 years in prison;
  • Second-degree felony: up to 15 years in prison;
  • Third-degree felony: up to five years in prison;
  • First-degree misdemeanor: no more than one year in jail; and
  • Second-degree misdemeanor: no more than 60 days in jail. 

Sentencing enhancements can result from dealing drugs near a school, playground, daycare, or other protected areas. Additionally, the judge could add time to your sentence for having a gun while committing a narcotics offense or having multiple drug offenses.

Finally, the judge could treat you as a habitual felony offender if you qualify. A drug possession attorney in Pensacola needs to review your case to give you the best defense possible. 

Drug Trafficking Under Florida Law

A conviction for drug trafficking in Florida requires the judge to give you a minimum mandatory sentence, as well as any minimum fines. The prison term depends on the type and weight of the drugs.

If you face drug trafficking charges in Pensacola, you may be in for a lengthy prison sentence and an enormous fine. Speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Pensacola drug trafficking lawyer as soon as you can to protect your rights. 

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Drug charges are incredibly serious. Having a conviction for even a misdemeanor drug charge can lead to huge problems in your life. By representing yourself, you might overlook some winning defenses that an experienced lawyer would recognize and know how to argue.

Also, you might not be able to negotiate a favorable settlement because of your unfamiliarity with the law. In the end, there’s too much at stake for you to try to take on the government alone. 

How Can Pensacola Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Help Me?

Our experience and resources put us in a unique position to help our clients. Whether we challenge the lawfulness of police conduct, challenge the State’s case at trial, or negotiate a favorable result with the prosecution, we will be your advocate and fight to protect your rights. We will pour over your case to find the best defense for you.

Since 1913, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon have helped people in Pensacola. Although times have changed, our commitment to excellent representation has not. We have tremendous resources that allow us to thoroughly investigate your case and give you the personal attention you deserve. Unlike other firms, we are not stretched thin in terms of resources or talent. 

Our commitment to our clients is the reason we won Martindale-Hubbell’s most prestigious award. As an AV-rated, preeminent law firm, we join the 5% of the law firms in the U.S. who are worthy of winning this award. 

How Can I Contact a Pensacola Drug Crimes Attorney from Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon?

Contact us today to speak with our dedicated Pensacola drug crime defense lawyers. As Pensacola’s oldest and most-recognized law firm, we stake our reputation on every client’s case. We will fight to preserve your freedom.