I WORK HARD TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.
Effective Defense from an AV Preeminent* Rated Former Prosecutor with more than 25 Years of Experience
Why You Should Hire Mike G Law as Your Drug Crime Lawyer
A drug conviction will undoubtedly impact the rest of your life, especially if you’re facing felony charges. When police arrest you for an alleged drug offense, you need an experienced drug crime lawyer to review the charges and fight the case.
Mike G is a former prosecutor with over 25 years of experience working on behalf of clients throughout the Clearwater-St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay tri-region area. Our law firm serves clients in the following Florida counties:
For a no-nonsense lawyer that will fight diligently for your rights and ensure you get a fair trial, schedule a free consultation with Mike G. He has built a reputation as a hard-working and reputable Tampa criminal defense attorney. Judges, police officers, and government officials alike can attest to his skills as a lawyer.
He knows the difficulties that come with facing a drug charge and thus will offer factual legal advice relevant to your case. Working with the law offices of Mike G means you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing someone is on your side.
Police and assistant state attorneys (prosecutors) along Florida’s Gulf Coast region feel particular pressure from their communities to crack down on drug offenses. This often means that making an arrest becomes a priority over protecting people’s rights regarding probable cause and illegal search and seizure.
A Reputation as One of the Top Drug Lawyers in Florida
As a former Assistant State Attorney, Mike G has prosecuted hundreds of cases and knows how far the police will go to collect evidence illegally. When he quit in order to open the criminal defense law office of Mike G Law many years ago, he owed to stand up and fight false allegations, trumped-up charges, and violations of people’s constitutional rights.
After more than 25 years, Mike G is proud to say that he is recognized as one of the preeminent drug charges lawyers in Tampa. He is familiar with experienced forensic mental health experts to evaluate and recommend treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues and dual diagnosis of drug addiction and mental illness. He has a successful record of helping hundreds of clients get their charges dismissed or reduced or their convictions set aside by successfully completing a chemical dependency treatment program.
If you or a member of your family has come under investigation or has already been charged with a misdemeanor or felony narcotics offense in the Tampa Bay area, it is crucial that you act now to protect your rights and secure expert representation. Drug crime consequences can be severe and long-lasting.
Don’t delay; call Mike G Law at 813-221-4303 or contact us online immediately before you say another word to the next police officer or prosecutor. Time is of the essence, and with our experienced team by your side, we will fight relentlessly to defend your case and pursue the best possible outcome.
What Happens if You Get Caught With Drugs in Florida?
The state of Florida is the ideal gateway for the movement of licit and illicit products into and through the U.S. Its proximity to drug-producing and transshipment countries, as well as its well-developed infrastructure, makes it a prime location to buy and sell goods.
Therefore, it’s in the state’s interest to prosecute drug crimes to the full extent of the law.
Penalties for drug crimes under Florida Statute 893.13 vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime. Some drug crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies.
If you’re facing Florida drug charges, you want an experienced Tampa drug attorney fighting on your behalf, as it could be the difference between receiving a lesser or harsher sentence. A felony conviction will drastically affect your future.
Drug Possession Charges and Penalties
The two primary factors influencing drug possession charges are the amount of drugs found on you or your property and the type of drug (its classification).
Both Florida and federal law have a classification system for drugs. The system separates drugs based on their medical value and the likelihood of abuse or addiction. The schedule types are as follows as per Florida Statute 893.03:
Schedule I: no medical use, highest dependency, and the highest potential for abuse (cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, peyote)
Schedule II: some accepted medical use, high dependency, and high potential for abuse (cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, Vicodin)
Schedule III: accepted medical use, low physical dependency but high psychological dependency, and lower potential for abuse (anabolic steroids, codeine, dronabinol, ketamine, testosterone)
Schedule IV: accepted medical use, limited dependency, and low potential for abuse (Ambien, Tramadol, Valium, Xanax)
Schedule V: accepted medical use, lowest dependency, and lowest potential for abuse (Lomotil, Motofen, Parepectolin)
Although marijuana is still a Schedule I drug both federally and under Florida law, the state has taken steps to reduce penalties related to its possession.
For instance, possession of marijuana (under 20 grams) or the possession of drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is the lowest penalty for a drug crime. The punishment for a first-degree misdemeanor is up to one year of jail time and a maximum fine of $1,000.
However, if the substance you have exceeds a certain weight, you’ll likely face a third-degree felony charge. The following drug possessions will result in a third-degree felony:
- Cocaine: less than 28 grams
- Heroin: less than four grams
- Marijuana: more than 20 grams
- Meth: less than 14 grams
- Oxycodone: less than seven grams with a legitimate prescription
- Xanax: any amount without a legitimate prescription
The penalty for a third-degree felony is up to five years of prison time and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Possession with intent to sell is usually a second-degree felony. This includes possessing chemicals you can use to make illegal substances, such as meth or ecstasy. The punishment for a second-degree felony is up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
The most severe charge for a drug crime is a first-degree felony. Possessing more than ten grams of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug is a first-degree felony, as is selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or park.
The penalty for a first-degree felony is a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Drug trafficking is also a first-degree felony. However, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of between three and twenty-five years, depending on the type and quantity of the drug or drugs in your actual possession.
Drug Crime Charges and DUIs
Importantly, although not under the same purview as drug charges, if law enforcement arrests you for DUI, you could also face drug charges, depending on the situation. The police can issue a DUI for driving under the influence of:
- Illicit drugs
- Prescription medication
Thus, if you were driving under the influence of illicit drugs and the illegal drugs were also present in the car when police stopped you, you’ll likely face DUI and drug charges.
Should you receive any drug or DUI charge, you need an experienced drug attorney from Tampa to help you. A drug case lawyer can work to reduce the penalties against you. It’s ideal to have a misdemeanor instead of a felony charge, as felony charges significantly affect your way of life.
Highly Experienced in Defending a Variety of Drug Crimes
When it comes to drug charges, Mike G is well-versed in Florida drug laws and understands that marijuana & controlled substances possession, prescription drug fraud, and drug trafficking are very different drug offenses, each requiring a unique defense approach. He wants to ensure you clearly understand these distinctions and how they impact your case.
While marijuana possession of twenty grams or less is considered a misdemeanor in Florida, it is still a serious offense that can have significant consequences. Mike G is well-versed in the intricacies of marijuana laws in the state and can provide you with a strong defense strategy.
Whether it involves challenging the validity of the search and seizure, questioning the accuracy of the quantity of marijuana claimed by the prosecution, or exploring any potential violations of your rights, Mike G will work diligently to protect your interests.
On the other hand, controlled substance charges involving drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine carry different legal implications. These offenses can range from simple possession to more severe charges, such as possession with intent to distribute or drug manufacturing. To effectively defend against these charges, Mike G will thoroughly analyze the evidence, scrutinize the law enforcement officer’s adherence to procedure, challenge witness credibility, and explore any possible violations of your constitutional rights. He aims to develop a comprehensive defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of your case.
Prescription Drugs Fraud and Controlled Substances
Prescription drug fraud charges encompass a range of offenses related to the illegal acquisition, distribution, or sale of prescription medications through deceitful means. These cases often involve complex legal and medical aspects, requiring a careful examination of your arrest’s circumstances.
As an experienced drug crimes attorney, Mike G will thoroughly analyze medical records, any valid prescription, and relevant documentation to uncover any evidence that supports your innocence. By exploring potential mitigating factors and challenging the prosecution’s claims of fraudulent activity, he will develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific case. His goal is to protect your rights, expose any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and advocate for the best possible outcome in your prescription drug fraud case.
Drug Trafficking and Intent to Sell or Distribute
Possession with intent to distribute and drug trafficking charges are among the most severe drug offenses individuals can face. These charges typically involve transporting, distributing, or selling controlled substances on a larger scale, often crossing state or even international borders. The penalties for these offenses can be severe, including lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines. Defending against possession with intent to distribute and drug trafficking charges requires a comprehensive and strategic approach. It involves challenging the validity of the evidence, questioning law enforcement procedures, examining the chain of custody, scrutinizing the intent element of the offense, and exploring any potential violations of constitutional rights during the investigation or arrest. With his experience and expertise in handling complex drug cases, Mike G is committed to providing aggressive and effective defense strategies to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
Regardless of your specific drug charge, Mike G’s approach remains the same – aggressive, intelligent, and personalized criminal defense. He understands that your case is unique and will meticulously analyze the facts, explore all available legal options, and fight relentlessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
What Is Drug Pretrial Intervention?
Drug pretrial intervention is similar to being on probation but with the expectation that you will complete a substance abuse recovery program. The state attorney (prosecutor) has one hundred percent discretion over whether to assign a person charged with a drug crime to the program, and you will sign a contract stating that you accept you have a substance abuse problem and want treatment. Florida’s drug court program was created by state law and is very intense. Upon successful completion, you will have your charges commuted. If you breach the contract and fail out of the program, however, the judge will revoke your bond and sentence you to six months in jail.
Learn more about how drug court diversion programs work here.
Common Defenses for Drug Charges
A skilled and experienced drug case lawyer can use one of several defenses to force the state to drop or reduce your charges. Some common defenses include:
- Alleging the police searched for and found the drugs illegally (unlawful search and seizure)
- Attacking the chain of custody and showing law enforcement mishandled the drugs during the investigation
- Claiming the drugs belong to another person
- Forcing the state to prove the alleged illicit substance is, in fact, a drug
- Proving the defendant has a medical marijuana card (for marijuana cases)
- Showing that the accused is a victim of police entrapment
The defense for each client will vary depending on the charges for drug-related offenses and the circumstances surrounding the case. However, a proficient defense attorney for drug charges will be able to use all the information at their disposal to prepare a sound defense for you and protect your rights.
Allow Mike G Law to craft your criminal defense in Tampa, FL, today. There’s nothing like having the best criminal defense lawyer fighting in your corner.
No Empty Promises – Just Aggressive, Effective Criminal Defense
Mike G will never give you a false promise about the outcome of your case. If another lawyer tells you he or she can ‘get you off’ or guarantee to keep you out of jail – be very skeptical. Every case is different. When you hire Mike G, you get aggressive, intelligent, personalized criminal defense, not false hope.
When selecting a defense attorney to fight drug crimes charges, Mike G Law urges you to be cautious of those who make unrealistic promises or guarantee specific results. Mike G’s commitment to you is to assess your situation honestly, set realistic expectations, and work tirelessly to give you the best possible legal representation. With him, you can trust that he will advocate for your rights with unwavering dedication and integrity.
Free Consultation · Credit Cards and Payment Plans Accepted · Se Habla Español
No matter what level of drug crime you are facing, you MUST take the charges seriously. Call Mike G Law in Tampa at 813-221-4303 or send an email explaining the circumstances of the investigation or arrest. Mike G will respond as quickly as possible to arrange a free initial consultation.
FAQs About Florida Drug Laws and Charges
Our office receives a lot of questions about drug crimes since they are some of the most common charges and convictions against Floridians. We answered the most common questions below.
What Are Examples of Drug Crimes?
Drug crime cases can include several different types of crimes, such as those pertaining to:
- Distributing or intent to sell drugs
- Manufacturing or delivering drugs
- Actual possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Drug trafficking
- Using illegal drugs or controlled substances illegally (drug abuse)
However, drug and violent crime cases often go hand-in-hand because drugs affect the user’s behavior. Drug use can cause the user to behave violently or engage in other illegal activities. Data shows that drug users are more likely than nonusers to commit crimes.
What Is the Most Common Illegal Drug Charge?
According to the Department of Justice, possession is the most common drug charge. Possession accounts for over 80% of all drug-related arrests in the U.S.
If law enforcement arrests you for drug possession, contact a drug charges lawyer immediately.
What Drug Causes the Most Arrests?
It may surprise you to learn that marijuana causes the most arrests. However, marijuana is one of the most commonly used substances in the U.S., third to only alcohol and tobacco. Data from the CDC shows that in 2019, 18% of Americans (around 48 million people) used marijuana.
Although marijuana is now legal in many states, under Florida law, recreational or personal, constructive possession of marijuana is illegal. Only medical use is legal. While the legality of the medical use of cannabis has helped the number of arrests and imprisonments for marijuana-related crimes rapidly decline in the U.S. and Florida, there are still many arrests for recreational use, possession, and distribution.
As Florida voters work to legalize recreational marijuana, the numbers for marijuana-related offenses will continue to decline.
Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go to Jail in Florida?
No Tampa criminal defense lawyer for drug charges can make any guarantees about your case’s outcome. Each case is different and jail time is always possible, even for misdemeanor charges.
Yet, it’s unlikely for those without a criminal record to receive a jail sentence for their first misdemeanor offense. The severity of a misdemeanor is much less than that of a felony. In this case, the state is incentivized to send you to a drug rehab program rather than jail.
However, the same is not true for more serious felony drug offenses, especially those with mandatory minimums. For example, the penalty for a first-time drug trafficking offense will almost certainly include prison time despite it being a first-time offense and contribute to a permanent criminal record.
Let Mike G Help Protect Your Rights
The decisions you make after you have been arrested can determine the outcome of your case — and possibly your life. Call Mike G Law at 813-221-4303, or contact me online.
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I would do more than 5 stars if it was available. Mr. Gonzalez was outstanding. Told everything how it was, very responsive to call and email. Fought very hard to get my husband the outcome he received. If We were to ever need a attorney in Florida again, We would use him as many times as We needed. We highly recommend to anyone looking for an awesome attorney to go with Mike G Law!!! He gets to the point!!!
I cannot recommend Mr Gonzalez enough. He is extremely professional as is his entire firm. Mr Gonzalez has been very knowledgeable and forthcoming throughout the entire legal process. I highly recommend him and a definite five star!
Mike G. is a great attorney. Very professional, very punctual, easy to talk to. Thanks to him my case was dismissed charges dropped.
I was able to text or call Mike anytime I needed to. He worked with me, on a real level and communicated realistic expectations for my situation. Thanks again guys.