The first question that arises when we talk about cocaine possession is how you would define possession, as there are varying degrees, or, definitions. Under Florida Statutes, Section 893.13(6)(a), a defendant is found to be guilty and may be charged with a third-degree offense if he carries cocaine. The punishment could lead to a five-year jail term.
According to the Florida Statutes, Section 893.13(6)(a), cocaine is a controlled substance under Schedule 2. In these cases, a prosecuting attorney will have to prove that the defendant was carrying cocaine. Besides, he or she must also prove that the person has constructive or actual knowledge of the possession too. The prosecutors must prove these substances beyond all reasonable doubt. Someone who is facing criminal charges involving cocaine should be considered innocent until proven guilty. That’s the justice system in America, and if you are facing these allegations in Central Florida, then an Orlando cocaine possession attorney will be instrumental in helping you obtain a favorable outcome.
What are the penalties for cocaine possession in Florida?
As mentioned earlier, possessing cocaine and being completely aware of the same is considered a third-degree offense in Florida. A conviction against these charges leads to the below penalties-
- Maximum probation of five years
- A fine of maximum $5,000
- Maximum of five years in prison
- Suspension of a driver’s license
If a defendant is found carrying or possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine, he or she will be convicted of drug trafficking. In Florida, drug trafficking charges belong to the first-degree offense category. Moreover, the cocaine amount belonging to a defendant will determine the degree of charges and the severity of punishment.
Meaning of cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline white powder that a person injects or snorts to create a certain euphoric and intense flow in the body. The substance is originally extracted from coca leaves. However, while the raw substance is transported from one place to the others, it turns into white, rock-like powder. The final substance is known popularly as crack cocaine.
Meaning of the term “possession” under the Laws of Florida
The meaning of possession under every law and in all dictionaries is almost the same. holding, controlling, or exercising power over an item is commonly known as “possessing” it. Under the laws of the Florida state, “possession” forms a whopping 9/10th of the entire law. They are correct on this because it makes the entire process of prosecution and conviction faster. In this state, you can be accused and tried in the Court of Law if cocaine is found in your pockets, home, vehicle, and more. The police just need to submit a basic proof that the cocaine is yours, or was found in any of your belongings. Besides, a defendant trying to protect himself by merely saying that the cocaine does not belong to him is not a reason strong enough to let him go. You will have to present enough proofs to save yourself against such accusations. There are often three main types of possessions- Actual, Joint, and Constructive possession.
- Actual possession- the cocaine is either in your hands or in the pocket. It means it is so close that there is no way in which you can defend yourself.
- Joint possession- it is a case in which two or more than two people possess the drug. In that case, each of the persons can be arrested.
- Constructive possession- the cocaine is hidden in a place that you are aware of and that the police need to prove in the court of law.