Florida drug crimes yield more prison time according to research

While practicing as a Drug Attorney in Jacksonville, I constantly review arrests in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties. These criminal arrests include a large number of drug crimes. According to the Pew Center on the States, the state of Florida has been sentencing drug offenders to almost 200% more time now than nearly 20 years ago. The Center looked at 35 different states and compared time in prison for all types of crimes, including theft, violence and drugs. The research found that Florida ranks first in the increase in time spent behind bars. The average time someone convicted of a drug crime in Florida is just over two years in prison, according to the report. Longer prison terms for non-violent crimes only adds to the increasing problem of prison overpopulation in Florida.

There are several different drug crimes one can be arrested for in Florida and if convicted, carry many different possible punishments. Jacksonville Misdemeanor Drug crimes include possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Each of these crimes carries a maximum of one year in jail. There are several more Jacksonville Felony Drug Crimes. Duval County felony drug arrests include possession of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroine, more than 20 grams of pot, and pills without a prescription, sale or delivery of illegal drugs, manufacture of illegal drugs and trafficking.

With Jacksonville possession charges, the possession can be “actual” or “constructive”. You “actually” possess an illegal drug if the drug is in your hand or on your body, if the drug is in a container in your hand or on your body or if the drugs are so close to you they are in your ready reach and is under your control. To “constructively” possess illegal drugs, the drugs have to be in an area over which you control. To prove this, the state attorney must prove you controlled the drugs and you knew the drugs were in your area.

If you have been arrested on drug charges in Jacksonville, Clay County or Nassau County, call an experienced Northeast Florida Drug Attorney immediately to discuss your case. The Mussallem Law Firm is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at (904) 365-5200. Our Jacksonville Drug Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem has represented thousands of people charged with crimes.

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