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Cocaine Charge

Cocaine Charge Defense in Tampa, Florida

Florida does not mess around when it comes to drug charges. If you have been charged with a drug crime in this state, there are harsh consequences like hefty fines and potential prison time. One type of drug that is common throughout the state is cocaine. Commonly used as a party drug, cocaine is an “upper”, a stimulant. It is extremely addictive and is illegal in every state and federally. Unlike marijuana or psychedelic drugs, there is no ongoing movement that seeks to legalize any amount of cocaine.

Whether you are a young college student or a working adult, using cocaine and getting caught in possession of it can ruin your future. It is important to be fully aware of cocaine laws and the penalties applicable if convicted.

Finding a Defense Attorney for Cocaine Charges

If you have been accused of a cocaine drug crime, the first step to take is finding a defense attorney. Receiving quality advice is important in figuring out which defense will work best with your case. At Elsea Law Firm, P.A., Joel Elsea and his team have the experience required to help you. They have what it takes to fight your drug charge and advocate for your freedom. Call (813) 451-8583 today and get a free consultation regarding your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Florida.

Possession and Use of Cocaine

As stated in Florida Statute Section 893.13, cocaine is illegal to use, possess, manufacture, or sell. Cocaine is considered a Schedule II controlled substance under Florida Statute Section 893.03, which means it is a substance with the excessive potential of abuse, leading to physical or psychological dependence.

Possession of cocaine of 28 grams or less is considered a third-degree felony charge under Florida Statute Section 893.13. This is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison. If a person has been caught with a small amount of the substance and has an insignificant criminal history, they can potentially qualify for a diversion program instead. If the program is successfully completed, the case can be disposed of without prison time.

Cocaine Trafficking in Florida

Under Florida Statute Section 893.135, it is unlawful to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, bring into the state, or knowingly be in actual or constructive possession of over 28 grams of cocaine, or any mixture that contains the substance of cocaine. If you have been accused of possessing this much cocaine, it would be a first-degree felony. The crime would be categorized as “trafficking of cocaine.” If you receive a cocaine trafficking charge in state court, the penalties are dependent on the amount of cocaine that was involved, not the purity of the substance.  For more information on trafficking charges, click here.

Penalties for Cocaine Trafficking

If you have been accused of trafficking in cocaine over a certain amount, you face statutory fines and a mandatory minimum sentence. A mandatory minimum sentence, commonly called a “Min Man”, requires a defendant to serve a certain amount of time in prison upon conviction . The length of the mandatory minimum sentence is connected to the amount of cocaine involved in the charge.  The following is a list of penalties for different amounts of cocaine:

  • If the quantity of cocaine is 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams

The defendant will receive a fine of $50,000 and a mandatory minimum of 3 years in prison.

  • If the quantity of cocaine is 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

The defendant will receive a fine of $100,000 and a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison.

  • If the quantity of cocaine is 400 grams or more but less than 150 kilograms

The defendant will receive a fine of $250,000 and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.

  • If the quantity of cocaine is 150 kilograms or more

The defendant will receive life in prison without any early release options, except for executive clemency or conditional medical release.

Defenses to Possession of Cocaine Charges in Florida

If you have been accused of a possession of cocaine charge, it may feel as if there are no options. However, there are still defenses that can be used in particular cases. The following is a list of defenses that can be legal or factual in nature:

  • Insufficient proof that the defendant had actual or constructive possession of cocaine.
  • Absence of a search warrant in circumstances requiring one.
  • Lack of probable cause for the arrest.
  • Unlawful detention.

Finding a defense attorney is the best possible move to make if you have been accused of a possession of cocaine charge. A skilled defense lawyer in Tampa  will be able to review your case and help figure out what defense may work with your specific case.

Hillsborough County and Tampa Bay Area Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a cocaine charge, it is imperative that you reach out to an attorney. Seeking help is your best bet at finding a defense to your case. An experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney can make the difference between paying high fines, serving jail time, or walking away free. The team at Elsea Law Firm, P.A. are prepared to stand on your side and help fight for your freedom. Call (813) 451-8583 today for a free consultation regarding your case.

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