Fort Lauderdale Drug Distribution Lawyer
In Fort Lauderdale, as throughout the rest of Florida, drug distribution is an offense classified as a felony. Under the Florida statute, this offense is defined as giving away or selling illegal controlled substances. Those substances can include prescription drugs as well as narcotics.
Although drug distribution is a felony offense, the penalties a person will face if convicted will depend on a number of factors. Those include the type of drug and the amount distributed, as well as whether the offense involved children, such as selling drugs on school property. To avoid the harshest penalties under the law, it is crucial to work with a Fort Lauderdale drug distribution lawyer.
Difference Between Drug Distribution and Drug Trafficking
Drug distribution involves delivering, providing, or selling illegal drugs. Charges for this criminal offense are sometimes referred to as drug possession with the intent to distribute. Distributing drugs is often confused with drug trafficking, but these two offenses do have some differences. Drug trafficking also refers to illegally selling and distributing controlled substances. Typically though, the difference between drug distribution and drug trafficking lies in the amount of the drug sold and it does not require movement of the drugs.
What Must the Prosecution Prove in a Drug Distribution Case?
To secure a conviction for drug distribution, the prosecution must prove several elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are as follows:
- The defendant knowingly took part in the sale or distribution of a controlled substance,
- The defendant intended to participate in the sale or distribution of a controlled substance
Usually, a chemical test is also required to determine that the substance the defendant was found with is actually unlawful for the defendant to possess or distribute.
Penalties for Drug Distribution in Fort Lauderdale
When the state prosecutor decides to charge a person with drug distribution instead of drug trafficking, the case typically involves smaller amounts of a controlled substance. If the prosecution decides to charge the case as possession with intent to sell, they may lay misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the facts of the case. When possession with intent to sell is charged as a third degree felony, the maximum penalties include five years in state prison and a $5,000 fine. Anyone charged with a second degree felony will face even harsher penalties that include a maximum of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
It is important to note that when a defendant already has a criminal history that includes a conviction for a felony offense, the penalties will increase. These defendants are known as habitual felony offenders or career criminals and stiffer penalties are sentenced to try and deter the defendant from similar behavior in the future.
Our Fort Lauderdale Drug Distribution Lawyer Can Help with Your Defense
If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug offense, our Fort Lauderdale drug distribution lawyer at the office of Kevin J. Kulik can assist with your case and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us today at 954-761-9411 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.