Possession with Intent

Possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances is a serious crime under both State and Federal law.  Under Florida law, possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, including prescription drugs, is a felony with the exception of certain amounts of cannabis (Marijuana) and Schedule V substances.  Controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Bath Salts, Flakka, Gravel), Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstacy, Molly), and cannabis (Marijuana) are all subject to being charged as a felony offense.  Distribution of 10 grams or more of certain substances, such as heroin, are a felony of the first degree.  It is also important to note that other charges may attach during the commission of a distribution offense depending on the substance and amount one is found to be in possession of, or distributing.

To be convicted under Florida State law, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

1.  The defendant possessed with intent to sell, or delivered a certain substance; and

2.  The substance is what it is alleged to be. “Deliver” or “delivery” in the State of Florida means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.

The following are some examples of how distribution laws apply to certain substances.

Heroin, Cocaine, and Oxycodone:

In Florida, one found to be distributing, or delivering heroin, cocaine, or oxycodone has committed a felony of the second degree.  Conviction of this offense includes imprisonment of no more than 15 years and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.  It is important for one to note that Habitual Felon laws and Trafficking laws may also apply.

Enhanced Penalty for Distributing 10 Grams or more of Heroin:

In Florida, one found to be distributing 10 grams or more of heroin has committed a felony of the first degree.  Conviction of this offense includes imprisonment of no more than 30 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000. It is also likely that one found to be delivering more than 10 grams of heroin will also be charged with trafficking as well.  In Florida, one only needs to be in possession of 4 grams or more of heroin for a trafficking charge.  As such, one would be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines as well as heavy fines.  One may also be subject to the Habitual Felon laws.

Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Bath Salts, Flakka, Gravel) and Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstacy, Molly):

In Florida, one found to be distributing, or delivering Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Bath Salts, Flakka, Gravel) or Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstacy, Molly) has committed a felony of the third degree.  Conviction of this offense includes imprisonment of no more than 5 years and/or a fine of not more than $5000.00.  It is important for one to note that Habitual Felon laws and Trafficking laws may also apply.

Cannabis (Marijuana):

In Florida, one found to have delivered, or distributed less than or equal to 20 grams of cannabis without payment has committed a misdemeanor of the first degree.  Conviction of this offense includes imprisonment not to exceed 1 year and/or a fine of not more than $1000.  However, if the delivery is for payment, or over 20 grams, one has committed a felony of the third degree.  Conviction of this offense includes imprisonment of no more than 5 years and/or a fine of not more than $5000.00.  It is important for one to note that Habitual Felon laws and Trafficking laws may also apply.

Under Federal law, possession with the intent to distribute is when one knowingly or distributes, or dispenses, or possesses with intent to distribute, or dispenses a controlled substance.  Federal law also sets forth mandatory minimum sentences for this offense based on the weight of the controlled substance and the accused’s prior convictions, if any.

To be convicted under Federal law, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

1.  That the defendant had knowledge;

2.  Possession; and

3.  Intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Under Federal law, one who has possessed with intent/distributed any of the aforementioned substances has committed a felony.  Conviction of this offense includes a fine up to, and not to exceed $10,000,000 for an individual and/or a term of imprisonment in a range of no less than 5 years to LIFE depending on the weight, and the controlled substance itself that is being possessed with the intent to distribute.

Attorney Petruzzi has over 22 years of experience defending those charged with these types of drug offenses.  It is important for one to hire an experienced attorney when faced with these types of drug charges.  Attorney Petruzzi’s knowledge and expertise in this field of law is a vital asset to anyone charged with these crimes.  Call today for a free consultation.

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