In Florida, you can be charged for a cocaine-related offense no matter how much you have in your possession; however, the type of charge depends on the amount of cocaine in your possession. This is a serious crime that can result in a number of severe penalties in Miami and elsewhere in Florida, so having a drug defense attorney on your side to fight these charges is extremely important.
If the police find a small amount of cocaine that is intended for personal use, you could be charged with cocaine possession. The term “possession” means that you had knowledge and control of the substance. For example, if the cocaine is in your pocket or in a glove compartment and you know about it and have access to it, you could be arrested for this offense.
If the police had probable cause to believe that you were transporting cocaine to another person, whether you intended to sell it or not, you could face a cocaine delivery charge. The police can also charge you with this crime if they believe you have more cocaine than what is intended for personal use. This offense is more serious than a simple possession charge, and, as such, carries higher penalties.
Of all of the cocaine-related crimes, trafficking carries the highest sentence. You could be charged for cocaine trafficking if you are in control of 28 grams or more of cocaine. The penalties for a trafficking offense depend on the quantity; if you have 28-200 grams of cocaine, you may be sentenced to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. This is increased to seven years in prison and a $100,000 fine for 200-400 grams of cocaine and 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for 400 grams to 150 kilograms of cocaine.
There are several other cocaine-related charges you could face that are not dependent on the amount of cocaine in your possession. For example, if you are found bringing cocaine into the country via boat, airplane, or other method of travel, you could be charged with smuggling, which is usually considered a federal offense.
If the police find that the cocaine has been packaged into smaller quantities–intended for sale–you could be charged with intent to distribute.
Evidence that can lead to an intent to distribute cocaine charge may include:
- large quantities of cash;
- a black book of clients; and
This type of charge could increase the severity of your sentence.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being charged for cocaine-related crimes is a serious offense in Florida; if convicted, you could face imprisonment, large fines, and a permanent criminal record. At the Falk & Ross Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of residents accused of committing criminal offenses. To learn how we can help, and to receive a complimentary consultation on your Miami or other Florida case, call a drug defense attorney at 877-663-5110 today.