Understanding Drug Possession Laws in Florida: What Constitutes a Violation?

Understanding Drug Possession Laws in Florida: What Constitutes a Violation?

Despite the legalization of cannabis in other states, marijuana is still illegal here. Drug possession of marijuana—or any number of controlled substances—is against Florida law.

drug possession and arrest

Possession ranges from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony with fines and jail time. Even a small amount can mean a mandatory prison term. It’s important to work with an experienced Florida drug possession attorney throughout your case.

What Does “Drug Possession” Mean?

Florida Statute Chapter 893 describes it as being “in active or constructive” possession of a controlled substance that was not “lawfully obtained from a practitioner.” In other words, a person obtained a controlled substance without a prescription. In Florida, it is illegal to manufacture, sell, have the intent to sell, or deliver specific controlled substances.

Having possession of a drug, on or off the person, and within reach, such as in a pocket, is known as “active possession.” The other type, known as “constructive possession,” means that a person knows about the drugs, but is out of immediate reach, such as locked in a safe. In both cases, a prosecutor must prove possession.

Possession can also include drug paraphernalia, but only if there is evidence that the objects are actively involved in drug use.

Types of Possession

A person in possession of a drug for personal use is charged with “simple possession.” Someone with a large quantity of drugs can be charged with intent to deliver, sell, or distribute since they intend to offer it for sale. Having an excessive amount will mean drug trafficking charges.

The charges depend on the actual weight of the drugs in a person’s possession when they are arrested. If someone mixes drugs with a larger quantity of a legal substance, the combined weight will be used to determine charges.

Those who would normally handle controlled substances during their employment are exempted such as physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals.

If You’re Arrested For Drug Possession

Florida’s drug possession laws are very strict, and prosecutors are aggressive when trying to get a conviction. Drug charges are serious with very steep penalties for even one conviction.

The right defense attorney will build your case and defend your rights. They will also use specific defenses in your case, such as proving that the drugs were not yours, especially if you did not know of them.

Enlisting the help of a Florida criminal defense attorney can aid in building a robust defense and advocating for you both in and out of the courtroom. Contact our office immediately to speak to one of our experienced drug possession defense attorneys promptly after a drug-related arrest.


If you are facing charges of drug possession or possession of a controlled substance in the West Palm Beach area, immediately invoke your right to silence and request an attorney, then call our office. The defense team of Adam R. Farkas and Jacqueline D. Crowley are ready to help. They have the background and experience to provide you with a strong defense and will work hard to defend you.

It’s vital to have strong legal representation after an arrest for drug possession. Don’t try to fight even a misdemeanor on your own.

We offer aggressive criminal defense when you are facing serious charges. We are ready to put our expertise to work and help you with your case. We’re available 24/7, whenever you need us, so call us today at (561)-444-9529 or online to schedule your free consultation appointment.

Why Choose Us?

Certified by the Florida Bar

Experience in both defense & prosecution

Focus on criminal law

Aggressive, committed attorneys & legal staff ready to defend your rights

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Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.

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