Disclaimer: At Flaherty & Merrifield, we do not represent snitches. Our goal is to help people, not get them arrested, so if that is your plan, call somebody else.
Regardless of the substance, if you were caught with a controlled substance without a prescription, you face a felony charge. Rather than focus on treatment and rehabilitation, The Crestview Police, Okaloosa County Sheriff, and the State Attorney will be looking to punish and convict you of a drug charge. This can lead to very serious, life-changing penalties for possession of even a small amount of illegal drugs.
My name is Tim Flaherty. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. We are Crestview possession of a controlled substance without a prescription lawyers. If you have been charged with drug possession, we can help you. Call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation.
Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription under Florida Law
Florida Statute 893.13(6)(a) defines possession on a controlled substance without a prescription as:
“A person may not be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless such controlled substance was lawfully obtained from a practitioner or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice”
Click here for a list of controlled substance schedules in Florida.
What is the penalty in Crestview for Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription?
This charge is a 3rd degree felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $5000.00 fine, and a permanent felony conviction.
If there is an allegation that you were selling the drugs, you could face the more serious charge of Sale of a Controlled Substance, which is a second degree felony with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
What if the drugs weren’t found directly on my person?
If the drugs were found, for example in your pocket, that constitutes actual possession. If the drugs were found in an area that other people also had control over, that is constructive possession. An example of this would be a car that had more than 1 person in it.
Actual Possession of Controlled Substances in Crestview
In order for the State to prove actual possession, they must prove that you had exclusive control over the area. Examples include in your pocket, in your car if you were the only person in the car, or any area that you had exclusive access to.
Constructive Possession of Controlled Substances in Crestview
This area is where a creative and experienced defense attorney can make a big difference. Constructive possession means that you had dominion and control over the controlled substance, but it wasn’t actually on your person. The most common example is a traffic stop with multiple people in the car.
Can I be charged with Prescription Fraud along with Possession without a Prescription?
The short answer is yes, you can. This page is mainly focused on the charge of Possession, but when it comes to prescription drugs, it is common to see a separate charge for Prescription Fraud.
Obtaining a Prescription by Fraud: This charge can be found in Florida Statute 893.13(7). The statute holds that it is unlawful to acquire or obtain a controlled substance by deception, fraud, forgery, or misrepresentation. Common examples include altering an existing prescription, doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions, stealing a Doctor’s prescription, or impersonating a Doctor or staff in order to call in a fraudulent prescription.
Prescription Fraud in Crestview and throughout the State of Florida is a 3rd degree penalty with a potential sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. These penalties are in addition to what you could receive for Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription.
If I possessed a lot of pills, could I be charged with Trafficking?
Unfortunately, most people are shocked when they learn about Florida’s trafficking limits. It really doesn’t take much at all to be charged with Trafficking and face a minimum mandatory prison sentence.
Here are a few examples:
Trafficking in Morphine/Opiates
- 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams: 3 year mandatory prison sentence and $50,000.00 fine.
- 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams: 15 year mandatory sentence and $100,000.00 fine.
- 28 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms: 25 year mandatory sentence and $500,000.00 fine.
Trafficking in Hydrocodone/Codeine
- 28 grams or more but less than 50: 3 year mandatory sentence and $50,000.00 fine.
- 50 grams or more but less than 100: 7 year mandatory sentence and $100,000.00 fine.
- 100 grams or more but less than 300: 15 year mandatory sentence and $500,000.00 fine.
- 300 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms: 25 year sentence and $750,000.00 fine.
- 30 kilograms or more: mandatory LIFE in prison.
Trafficking in Oxycodone
- 7 grams or more but less than 14: 3 year mandatory prison sentence and $50,000.00 fine.
- 14 grams or more but less than 25: 7 year mandatory prison sentence and $100,000.00 fine.
- 25 grams or more but less than 100: 15 year mandatory prison sentence and $500,000.00 fine.
- 100 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms: 25 year prison sentence and $750,000.00 fine.
- 30 kilograms or more: mandatory LIFE in prison.
Trafficking in Fentanyl
- 4 grams or more but less than 14: 3 year mandatory sentence and $50,000.00 fine.
- 14 grams or more but less than 28: 15 year mandatory sentence and $100,000.00 fine.
- 28 grams or more: 25 year mandatory prison sentence and $500,000.00 fine.
How will you defend me if I am charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription in Crestview?
Our main goals with all clients charged with a felony are to keep you out of jail and keep a felony off your record. Here are a few areas we will focus on in building your defense:
- Examine the traffic stop, detention, and arrest for suppression issues;
- Question the police officers and witnesses under oath;
- File a Motion to Suppress or a Motion to Dismiss if the facts warrant it;
- Did the police use a confidential informant, and if so, can we force them to disclose their identity?
- Did you have a prescription for the substance at any point in your life?
- Do you qualify for a pretrial diversion program that guarantees a dismissal of your case?
- Can we negotiate a plea bargain that reduces your charges to a misdemeanor?
- Are there treatment-based sanctions available instead of jail?
- Are there mitigating circumstances we can present to the judge on your behalf?
- If you qualify, we will expunge or seal the record of your arrest once the case is over.
If you have been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, or any drug offense in Crestview, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation.