Tampa Drug Possession Attorney
Of all the criminal charges in Tampa, and throughout Florida, drug possession is one of the most common. Drug possession charges are not as serious as manufacturing, trafficking, and other drug offenses, those convicted will still face very serious penalties. State prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions for drug possession, and they also often try to upgrade the charge to something more serious, such as possession with intent to sell. Our Tampa drug possession attorney can prevent this from happening and build a solid defense that will help you beat the charges.
Drug Possession vs. Possession with Intent to Sell
State prosecutors commonly try to upgrade drug possession charges to possession with intent to sell, so it is critical to understand the differences between these two offenses. While the two crimes are very alike, there is one critical difference. The prosecution must prove that not only did you possess a drug, but that you also had the intent to sell it.
When upgrading a possession charge to possession with intent to sell, the prosecution must present strong evidence to show that you intended to sell. Large quantities of a drug can have a charge upgraded, as can large amounts of cash or packaging materials.
Elements of Proof in Drug Possession Cases
A strong defense often involves showing the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. These are as follows:
- The substance in question is unlawful: Certain drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin are obviously illegal to possess, but that does not hold true for all substances. For example, a police officer may arrest someone because they believe they unlawfully obtained a prescription drug when that is not the case.
- You had knowledge of the drug: After establishing that the substance was illegal, the prosecution must then show that you had knowledge of the drug. The classic example is when one person leaves illegal drugs in someone else’s car. If you did not know your friend had left it there, that can provide a defense in your case.
- You had control over the drug: Despite the term ‘drug possession,’ simply possessing the drug is not enough to be convicted. You must have also had control of the drug. Staying with the above example, a friend may have left illegal drugs in your glove compartment. If you parked your vehicle in your driveway and walked away from it, you did not have control over the drug. That can also work as a defense.
Our Drug Possession Attorney in Tampa Can Build a Strong Defense for Your Case
Drug possession charges are not as serious as other types of drug crimes, but the penalties are still quite harsh. At HD Law Partners, our Tampa drug possession attorney knows the defenses available and will use them effectively so you have the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call or text us now at 813-964-7878 or connect with us online to schedule a free review of your case with our seasoned attorney and to learn more.