Possession of Marijuana, Cocaine & Controlled Substance
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA, COCAINE & CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Florida’s drug laws are very broad and encompassing. The laws declare unlawful the possession of controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD and other prohibited substances. Possession can take the form of the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery or trafficking of a controlled substance.
At the Law Office of Erick Cruz we are dedicated to representing individuals under criminal investigation or who have been arrested and charged with a crime. Because our office’s exclusive practice focuses on criminal defense, Erick Cruz has established and maintains a positive working relationship with other defense attorneys, prosecutors and criminal court judges. The exclusive focus on criminal defense allows us to dedicate the time and resources necessary to represent you through a criminal investigation, criminal prosecution or post-conviction matters.
Call our office to discuss your case with Erick Cruz and find out how to get your case dismissed or charge and sentence reduced and arrest record sealed or expunged.
POSSESSION OF CANNABIS (MARIJUANA)
Marijuana, although legalized in other states, remains a prohibited substance in Florida. In fact, Florida remains a state with some of the most restrictive and punitive laws against the possession of marijuana. The exception is for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, which is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. More than 20 grams, however, is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Fortunately, in Miami-Dade County, law enforcement has taken a more tolerant approach to the possession of marijuana. Some cities and police agencies have essentially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has followed suit and in certain instances will dismiss simple possession of marijuana cases. Call Erick to find out how.
POSSESSION OF COCAINE & OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act provides that it is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years, for any person to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Fortunately, in Miami, prosecutors generally recognize that the possession and use of controlled substances presents an treatable issue of addiction, rather than criminal conduct. To that end, the Miami-Dade justice system offers many opportunities to overcome addiction and obtain dismissal of the charges. Typically, the drug court program provides the mechanism by which a person can receive treatment, and if successful, could have the case dismissed.
If treatment is not an option, Erick Cruz will find a way to have the case dismissed or the charges and sentence reduced. A recurring issue in drug possession cases is the whether the prosecutors can prove legal possession of the substance. The essential elements of unlawful possession of a controlled substance are (1) knowledge of the presence of the contraband; and (2) the ability to maintain control over it. Naturally, the prosecutors must also prove that the controlled substance is in fact a prohibited controlled substance.
Possession of the controlled substance may be either actual or constructive. Actual possession exists where a person has physical possession of the substance and knowledge of that possession; actual possession means that:
(1) the item is in the hand of or on the person, or
(2) the item is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or
(3) the item is so close that it is within ready reach of the person.
To establish constructive possession, the prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the person knew of the presence of the contraband and (2) that he or she had the ability to exercise dominion and control over it. Both elements may be satisfied by proof that the defendant has the ability to exercise control over the place where the contraband is found. Additionally, constructive possession will be inferred if the place where the contraband was found is in the person’s exclusive possession. Accordingly, where a person is the sole owner and occupant of a house or vehicle in which a controlled substance is found, he or she may be found to be in exclusive constructive possession of the substance with guilty knowledge and intent.
Erick has successfully defended numerous clients charged with possession of a controlled substance. Erick has been successful in getting charges dismissed for clients by challenging the illegal search and seizure conducted by the police. Additionally, Erick has obtained dismissals by placing clients in drug diversion programs. After successful completion of the program, clients may be eligible to have the case completely dismissed of the sentence significantly reduced.
Call Erick to discuss your case with him and find out how to get your case dismissed or charges and sentence reduced and arrest record sealed or expunged.
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