Illegal Drug Possession

Drug Possession or Intent to Sell: Florida’s Drug Laws

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Florida Statute Section 893.13

A person may not sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to sell a controlled substance.

To be charged with drug possession, the prosecutor must present or show the following:

  1. The prosecutor must present evidence that the seized drug has been analyzed by a crime lab and is a controlled substance as defined by Florida law.
  2. The prosecutor must show that the defendant knew about the illicit nature of controlled substance.
  3. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant had control over the location of the controlled substance.

Drug Possession Charges:

  • First Degree Misdemeanor Possession: Up to 20 g marijuana(except when it is legally possessed medical marijuana).
  • Third Degree Felony Possession: More than 20 g marijuana(except when it is legally possessed medical marijuana). Up to 28 g cocaine, 10 g ecstasy, 1 g LSD, 4 g heroin.
  • First Degree Felony Possession: More than 25 g marijuana, 28 g cocaine, 10 g ecstasy, 1 g LSD, 4 g heroin.

Drug Possession Penalties:

  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail.
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison.
  • First Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Florida Statute Section 381.986

Statute 381.986, compassionate use of low-THC and medical cannabis, was signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott, approved by Florida voters, and added to Florida’s constitution. This amendment qualifies a patient verified by a licensed Florida physician as having certain medical conditions:

Cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Glaucoma, Parkinson’s, Chron’s Disease, Glaucoma, ALS, and PTSD.

Drug Possession Defenses

If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance or with the intent to sell, Ron Chapman, an experienced defense attorney, can determine which defenses will apply to your case.

  • The Drugs Belong to Someone Else: A common defense is the drugs are not yours, and you do not know where they came from or how they got ‘there.’ Ron Chapman, a skilled defense attorney, will pressure prosecutors to prove it belongs to you.
  • Crime Lab Analysis: Just because it looks like a particular controlled substance, does not mean it is. A crime lab analysis can prove, or it is or is not the substance which you have been charged. The analyst who conducted the analysis must testify in court for the prosecution to rest its case.
  • Missing Drugs: Ron Chapman will insist prosecutors produce the drugs you have been charged with possessing. If the drugs are missing, there is no evidence.
  • Planted Drugs: Difficult to prove;
  • Lack of knowledge that the drug was a controlled substance: You did not know that the drug you possess is a controlled substance.
  • Entrapment: Police may pressure a suspect to pass drugs to a third party.
  • Medical Marijuana Exception: Having a licenses doctor’s order for marijuana for a medical necessity can clear you of marijuana drug possession charges.
  • Having a Prescription: If you have a licensed doctor’s prescription to take a controlled substance for a medical reason, then you have every right to have a legal amount in your possession.

Drug Laws West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website at

Visit us at You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.


Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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