Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
Is Using Drugs a Different Charge Than Selling Drugs?

Is Using Drugs a Different Charge Than Selling Drugs?

Over the past decade, drug crime penalties have increased in severity. Even at the federal level, drug laws prohibit the possession and distribution of drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. In both the federal and state criminal justice systems, the penalties vary significantly if a person is charged with simply possessing a controlled substance versus if a person is charged with distributing them. The Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense attorneys at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. have put together a list of the various penalties for using drugs and for selling drugs in Florida.

Florida Drug Possession Laws

Using drugs or drug possession is an offense committed by someone who didn’t manufacture, distribute, or sell the controlled substance, but instead is only charged for using it. Simply for drug possession, the charges can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Drug possession charges in Florida include the following:

  • 1st Degree Misdemeanor Possession: This can be charged for up to 20 grams of marijuana, (except for medical marijuana). This is subject to at least one year in jail, plus court costs. Those with at least four prior convictions may be sentenced to one year in jail, mandatory treatment, or home detention.
  • 3rd Degree Felony: This can be charged for possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana. A person may face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
  • 1st Degree Felony: This is when a person has more than 25 lbs. of marijuana, more than 28 grams of cocaine, more than 10 grams of MDMA/ecstasy, more than 1 gram LSD, or more than 4 grams heroin/opiate. A person may face up to 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Florida Drug Distribution Laws

The state of Florida has a separate set of laws addressing drug distribution. In such cases, a prosecutor must show that the defendant “knowingly” participated in drug trafficking activities and possessed large amounts of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. Drug distribution can result in a variety of penalties.

Drug distribution charges in Florida include the following:

  • 1st Degree Felony: Maximum of 30 years' imprisonment. The penalties will vary depending on the type of drug and the quality of the drug involved in the trafficking activities.
  • 2nd Degree Felony: This may result in a term of imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine in of up to $10,000.
  • 3rd Degree Felony: The term of imprisonment can last for up to 5 years and may require a fine of up to $5,000.

Experienced Fort Lauderdale Drug Crime Defense Attorneys. Call Today (954) 543-1788

Regardless of whether you are accused of using or selling drugs, the penalties can affect your freedom, future, and financial security. For that reason, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side who can protect your rights and get the best possible results for your case. At Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A., we have extensive experience handling a variety of complex drug crime cases. You can be sure that your rights will be aggressively defended and that we will work toward getting your charges reduced or even dismissed. If you’ve been arrested for drug possession or drug distribution, contact our drug crime defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, FL as soon as possible. We are available to speak with you and answer your questions 24/7.

At Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A., we are proud to offer outstanding representation for our clients in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Call us today for a case review at (954) 543-1788!


Our Victories

  • Not Guilty, Acquitted at Trial Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon

    Outcome: Client was alleged to have used his vehicle to strike victim, and there was video of the incident which could have been interpreted to actually show the crime. The state was offering significant prison time before trial. By meticulous planning and strategic cross-examination to expose the motives and fabrications by the alleged victim, and an eyewitness in support of the alleged victim, Rudenberg & Glasser convinced a jury to acquit the client and avoid a mandatory long prison sentence.

  • Domestic Violence
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser went to trial and were able to show during cross-examination that the alleged victim was the aggressor and that the client acted in self-defense. The jury returned a not guilty verdict almost immediately following trial.
  • Domestic Violence With 911 Call and Pictures
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser took the case to trial after fleshing out inconsistencies in the alleged victim's account. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and the client's unblemished record was preserved.
  • False Arrest

    Outcome: Attorney Glasser was able to show with video footage that his client did not commit the alleged offense and furthermore, the police officer who ordered his arrest was negligent in his investigation and improperly supervised.

    Read more about this story on the Sun Sentinel.

  • Probation Only Federal Conspiracy to Commit Mail & Wire Fraud

    Outcome: Through compelling sentencing memorandum and passionate oral argument, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to convince the federal court judge to sentence their client to treatment for substance abuse, and no incarceration, even though the client had a lengthy criminal history and the Government was seeking prison time.

  • Felony DUI: Client was in an Accident and Left the Scene
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser filed a compelling motion to suppress evidence based on law enforcement's actions during the investigation. Rudenberg & Glasser were able to persuade the prosecutor prior to the motion to suppress hearing that the charge should be broken down from a felony to a misdemeanor and the client was offered probation instead of the previously sought prison sentence.
  • Final Injunction Hearing
    Outcome: Client desperately needed to avoid a final injunction on his record. Rudenberg & Glasser defended him at the hearing and proved that the Petitioner was not in fear for her safety. The judge dismissed the injunction.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Resisting Police Officer Without Violence
    Outcome: Mr. Rudenberg presented evidence that the police officer’s version of events was not credible, and that accusations were made to justify excessive use of force by police officer. Jury returned a verdict of not guilty in less than five minutes.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanors: DUI & Possession of Cannabis
    Outcome: Mr. Rudenberg won a motion arguing the DUI checkpoint was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the Judge entered an order suppressing all evidence. Case was dropped by the State, and client avoided a mandatory conviction for DUI, as well as mandatory fines and license suspensions.
  • $250,000 Pre-Trial Personal Injury

    Outcome: Client was injured by a malfunctioning door, requiring stitches and leaving a scar on client's knee. There were limited medical bills and no surgeries, but through extremely challenging and successful negotiations, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to secure a settlement of $250,000.

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