It is not uncommon for a person in Florida to find themselves accused of a criminal drug offense, especially with the prevalence of substance addiction in today's society that has been so fueled by the legal prescription drug industry. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned and honest people can end up in this situation but they should know that even being arrested for a drug crime does not always guarantee that they will be sent to prison or jail.
Florida is a hot bed of drug use and distribution, as its location makes it easier to import a variety of illegal substances, with cocaine being a popular one. If you face a drug charge, whether it be possession, manufacturing, distribution or trafficking, you may think a conviction means automatic jail time. However, you may be able to avoid jail if your attorney is able to come up with a good defense, and even with a conviction jail is not necessarily the route you will have to take.
If a Florida police officer stopped and arrested you for possession of a controlled substance, it means that he or she recognizes you did not intend to distribute, sell or manufacture the substance. Rather, it was obvious to the arresting officer you intended to use the drug for personal use. That said, does that mean you are off the hook? Not by a long shot.
During 2018, Florida residents who met the qualifications were able to receive certifications to buy and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Tampa Bay Times indicates that a report issued by the Physician Certification Pattern Review Panel shows that 1,070 doctors statewide provided certifications to more than 136,000 patients between January and September of this year. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the condition for which over 41,000 of those certifications were received. More than 17,000 patients with cancer were certified to use medical marijuana.
If you are like many residents in Florida, you might frequently hear other people talk very disparagingly about drunk or drugged drivers. The comments are often based on stereotypes that assume such people are so intoxicated or high that they can barely function. The reality of the matter is that a person might be charged with a driving under the influence offense even when they are quite functional. Many responsible people find themselves in this situation.
Florida voters made a decision this Tuesday that will have big impacts on individuals convicted of felonies, such as felony drug possession, in the state. They opted to pass Amendment 4. This amendment changes state law regarding convicted felons and the right to vote.