A drug charge can have a significant effect on your life. If you've been accused of drug possession and need an experienced defense lawyer, call today. When you or your son or daughter has been charged with drug possession, you need a defense attorney who will fight for your rights and work to get the best possible outcome to your case. The Lake Worth drug possession attorneys at Bottari & Doyle defend against felony and misdemeanor drug possession charges for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMA, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs like Xanax or Oxycodone. Our criminal defense attorneys are also skilled in defending drug sales ,drug trafficking, and drug paraphernalia charges.

One mistake shouldn't mean losing out on your future. We understand that a drug possession charge is a serious accusation that can have potentially negative effects on your career and personal life. We work to minimize the unintended consequences of drug or narcotics possession by negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce the charges, arguing for an alternative punishment, or getting them dropped altogether. Don't give up on your case too early and don't accept a plea deal without speaking to a defense lawyer first. Our drug possession defense lawyers can be reached online or on the phone at (561) 588-2781.

At Bottari & Doyle, we offer skilled drug possession defense throughout Southern Florida. If your son or daughter is away at school and needs our criminal defense representation, we're happy to talk to you in Lake Worth and handle their case elsewhere in the state. Contact us today to start building a defense to your case.

Defenses to Drug Possession Charges in Lake Worth

Fourth Amendment Violations

The police often find drugs by violating a person's Fourth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from the government engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures. A Fourth Amendment violation may result in suppression of the drugs. This means that the State cannot use the evidence of the drugs gathered by the police officer, typically resulting in a dismissal of the drug charge. Common Fourth Amendment violations occur in the following scenarios:

1. The police did not have probable cause to believe that a traffic infraction occurred.

2. The police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime occurred, was happening or was about to occur.

3. The police prolonged the traffic stop to “stall” for a K-9 to arrive at the scene of the traffic stop to sniff around the vehicle.

4. The police searched a defendant when he or she did not voluntarily consent to a search.

5. The police searched the defendant's vehicle without his or her consent.

6. The police searched a defendant's belongings without his or her consent when the defendant was a passenger in a vehicle.

7. The police conducted an illegal pat down search of the defendant.

8. Invalid or no search warrant.

Inability to Prove Constructive Possession

Additionally, the State often has a difficult time proving that a defendant was in constructive possession of drugs, typically in joint constructive possession situations. For example, the State would have difficulty proving constructive possession in the following situation:

  • The defendant drove a vehicle containing multiple people. The police lawfully pull the vehicle over for speeding. One of the passengers throws a bag containing drugs onto the floor. The State will have difficulty proving that either the driver or the passenger constructively possessed the substance, absent any additional incriminating evidence.

The law regarding possession can be confusing. What facts do and do not constitute possession are determined by case law, and require the knowledge of a skilled criminal defense attorney. The drug possession defense lawyers at Bottari & Doyle will able to apply the facts of your case to the law to determine if the State will have a hard time proving their case. If the State's case is factually weak, a prosecutor may completely dismiss the charge.

Lack of Knowledge

It is an affirmative defense to a drug possession charge if the defendant can prove that he or she did not know what the substance was.

Marijuana Drug Possession in Lake Worth

Florida is not Washington or Colorado. In Florida, marijuana is a classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Schedule 1 substances have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Possession of marijuana less than 20 grams is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a one year driver's license suspension. Possession of marijuana 20 grams or more is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and a one year driver's license suspension.

Actual possession means that the marijuana is:

1. Either in the hand of or on the person, or

2. Either in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

3. Within ready reach to the person and is under his or her control.

Constructive Possession means the marijuana is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it. To prove the person was in constructive possession of marijuana, the state must show (1) that the defendant knew of the presence of the marijuana and (2) that the defendant had the ability to maintain dominion and control over the marijuana.

At trial, to prove that a Defendant possessed marijuana, the State must prove to a jury three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Defendant possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was marijuana.

3. The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the marijuana.

Florida law states that possession of marijuana can be either a first degree misdemeanor or a third degree felony. Possession of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of probation, one year in jail as a condition of probation, and a $1,000 fine if the weight of the marijuana is less than 20 grams. Possession of marijuana is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years of probation, five years in prison as a condition of probation, and a $5,000 fine, if the weight of the marijuana is 20 grams or more. A conviction for a misdemeanor and felony marijuana charge, pursuant to Florida Statute 322.055, results in a mandatory one year suspension of the defendant's driving privileges. The marijuana drug possession lawyers at Bottari & Doyle can help you obtain a hardship license and petition the DHSMV for full restoration of driving privileges after six months.

If the State's case is factually weak, a prosecutor may completely dismiss the charge, reduce a felony marijuana charge to a misdemeanor, or reduce a misdemeanor marijuana charge to a misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charge. A reduction to possession of drug paraphernalia is significant, because a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia does not have the effect of suspending driving privileges.

Sometimes a marijuana drug possession charge comes with a marijuana DUI as well. It's important to understand that driving while high on marijuana can result in a marijuana dui, even if you have a medical marijuana license. Do not take this charge lightly.

If you have been arrested or charged with Possession of Marijuana in Lake Worth, contact the drug possession defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2781 for a free case evaluation.

MDMA or Ecstasy Drug Possession in Lake Worth

Possession of less than 10 grams of MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstacy, is a third degree felony. It is important to know that the amount of the MDMA is equal to the weight of the pills. Therefore, although the actual amount of MDMA may be less than ten grams, if the pills weigh more than 10 grams than the person can be charged with trafficking in MDMA.

Actual possession means that the MDMA is:

1. Either in the hand of or on the person, or

2. Either in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

3. Within ready reach to the person and is under his or her control.

Constructive Possession means the MDMA is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it. To prove the person was in constructive possession of MDMA, the state must show (1) that the defendant knew of the presence of the MDMA and (2) that the defendant had the ability to maintain dominion and control over the MDMA. 

At trial, to prove that a Defendant possessed MDMA, the State must prove three elements to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Defendant possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was the specific MDMA alleged.

3. The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the MDMA.

Florida law states that a person who possesses less than 10 grams of MDMA commits a third degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to any combination of the following:

1. 5 years in prison

2. 5 years of probation

3. $5,000 fine

Additionally, a conviction for possession of MDMA also results in a mandatory one year suspension of the defendant's driving privileges.

If you have been arrested or charged with Possession of a MDMA in Lake Worth, contact the drug possession defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2781 for a free case evaluation.

Cocaine Drug Possession in Lake Worth

Possession of Cocaine is a serious third degree felony. To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. In cocaine possession cases, a person may be in either actual or constructive possession of the cocaine.

Actual possession means that the cocaine is:

1. Either in the hand of or on the person, or

2. Either in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

3. Within ready reach to the person and is under his or her control.

Constructive Possession means the cocaine is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it. To prove the person was in constructive possession of cocaine, the state must show (1) that the defendant knew of the presence of the cocaine and (2) that the defendant had the ability to maintain dominion and control over the cocaine.

To prove that a Defendant possessed cocaine, the State must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Defendant possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was the specific cocaine alleged.

3. The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the cocaine.

Florida law states that possession of cocaine is a third degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to any combination of the following:

1. 5 years in prison

2. 5 years of probation

3. $5,000 fine

Additionally, a conviction for possession of cocaine also results in a mandatory one year suspension of the defendant's driving privileges.

If you have been arrested or charged with Possession of Cocaine in Lake Worth, contact the drug possession defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2781 for a free case evaluation.

Heroin Drug Possession in Lake Worth

Heroin is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and possession of heroin is a 3rd Degree Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison. To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. In heroin cases, a person may be in either actual or constructive possession of the heroin.

Actual possession means that the heroin is:

1. Either in the hand of or on the person, or

2. Either in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

3. Within ready reach to the person and is under his or her control.

Constructive Possession means the heroin is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it. To prove the person was in constructive possession of heroin, the state must show (1) that the defendant knew of the presence of the heroin and (2) that the defendant had the ability to maintain dominion and control over the heroin. Additionally, if the heroin is in a location occupied by multiple people (joint possession), such as a car, the state cannot solely rely on a person's proximity to substance to prove constructive possession. The state would need additional evidence, such as an incriminating statement or fingerprint evidence to establish knowledge, dominion and control. 

At trial, to prove that a Defendant possessed heroin, the State must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Defendant possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was the specific heroin alleged.

3. The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the heroin.

Florida law states that possession of heroin is a third degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to any combination of the following:

1. 5 years in prison

2. 5 years of probation

3. $5,000 fine

Additionally, a conviction for possession of heroin also results in a mandatory one year suspension of the defendant's driving privileges.

If you have been arrested or charged with Possession of a Heroin in Lake Worth, contact the drug possession defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2781 for a free case evaluation.

Methamphetamine Drug Possession in Lake Worth

It is a third degree felony to possess less than 14 grams of methamphetamine. Possessing 14 grams or more of Methamphetamine subjects the person to drug trafficking penalties. The weight of the methamphetamine is equal to the weight of the entire mixture; therefore, a person who possesses 14 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture subjects himself to drug trafficking penalties.

Actual possession means that the methamphetamine is:

1. Either in the hand of or on the person, or

2. Either in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

3. Within ready reach to the person and is under his or her control.

Constructive Possession means the methamphetamine is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it. To prove the person was in constructive possession of methamphetamine, the state must show (1) that the defendant knew of the presence of the methamphetamine and (2) that the defendant had the ability to maintain dominion and control over the methamphetamine.

To prove that a Defendant possessed methamphetamine, the State must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Defendant possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was the specific methamphetamine alleged.

3. The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the methamphetamine.

Florida law states that a person who possesses less than 14 grams of methamphetamine commits a third degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to any combination of the following:

1. 5 years in prison

2. 5 years of probation

3. $5,000 fine

Additionally, a conviction for possession of methamphetamine also results in a mandatory one year suspension of the defendant's driving privileges.

The criminal defense lawyers at Bottari & Doyle will be able to weigh the facts of your case to determine whether or not the State will have a hard time proving their case. If the State's case is factually weak, it's possible to get the charges completely dismissed. If you have been arrested or charged with Possession of a Methamphetamine, in Lake Worth, contact the drug possession defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561) 588-2781 for a free case evaluation.

Contact a Lake Worth Drug Possession Lawyer at Bottari & Doyle

We represent clients charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs in Lake Worth and surrounding areas. We know the South Florida courts. Let our experience work for you to defend against your drug possession charge. Contact the law firm of Bottari & Doyle to get started building your defense today.