The red and blue lights flash before your eyes, and you hear three words that immediately make your heart feel as though it has just collapsed: “You’re under arrest.” When you caught with drugs but not charged.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a good time, but when drugs come into play, you’re playing with fire.
Table of Contents
- You Caught With Drugs but Not Charged
- Getting Arrested for Drug Possession
- What Should You Do When You Are Arrested?
- Simply Inhale and Exhale
- What Should You Avoid Doing When You Are Arrested?
- They also apply to the words you write
- Drug Classifications
- Example of Drug Classification
- Felony vs. Misdemeanor
- These other factors, known as aggravated factors, include the following:
- Defenses Against a Charge of Possession
- How Long Do Police Have to File Drug Charges?
- Your Rights Following a Drug Arrest
- How We Can Help
You Caught With Drugs but Not Charged
Like all criminal charges, in order to actually convict you the prosecutor must prove you committed a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Luckily there are many ways to fight drug charges.The best drug crime attorney defensesfocus on ways to expose flaws or introduce doubts in the evidence required to convict you.
Should you get arrested on a drug possession and you may go jail for drug test. Learn how long do police have to file drug charges, here’s a rundown of what you can expect and what you need to do. Can you go to prison after failing a drug test? Get your employer already be on the phone to law enforcement.
Getting Arrested for Drug Possession
Possessing any quantity of illegal drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin — and sometimes marijuana — is illegal in most U.S. states, counties, and cities.
Not only that but also it’s viewed as a federal crime and how long do police have to file drug charges.
Each jurisdiction has its own laws. However, depending on how much of a drug police found in your possession and how often you have been charged with drug possession, the situation could land you in prison for the rest of your life.
Let’s get started with the legal consequences of drug use.
What Should You Do When You Are Arrested?
For starters, stay calm. There’s no need to panic just yet. After all, just because you are charged with drug possession doesn’t mean you are immediately guilty of this serious crime in Lady Justice’s eyes.
Of course, staying calm following a drug arrest can seem impossible. But reining in your emotions is paramount because an outburst from you may result in extra criminal charges, such as the obstruction of justice or resisting arrest. In addition, you could get hurt because police will have no problem using force to finally subdue you.
Simply Inhale and Exhale
Allow the police to place their handcuffs on you. Then, be still as you take the ride to the police station.
Once you get to the station, you’ll get one phone call before being put in a jail cell. If you have a lawyer, make that telephone call count by contacting him or her. Otherwise, you can call a family member or friend, who can search for a lawyer for how long do police have to file drug charges.
Finally, to avoid having to remain in your jail cell during your entire case, request that the court set bail for you during your arraignment and caught with drugs but not charged. At this type of court proceeding, you’ll hear all of the charges that have been filed against you, and you should also be prepared to enter a plea.
The judge can either deny you bail or grant you bail. If he or she denies you bail, there’s nothing you can do about that. Just stay in communication with your lawyer and follow his or her guidance.
What Should You Avoid Doing When You Are Arrested?
When you are first arrested, you may have to provide the police with identifying information, such as your name and age. Outside of that, it’s best that you keep your mouth sealed. After all, silence remains each arrested person’s inalienable right based on the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.
What if police begin to ask you questions related to your case? Simply tell them that you choose not to speak until a criminal defense lawyer is present with you caught with drugs but not charged. Just be sure to respond in a respectful and direct manner to avoid getting on your arresting or caught with drugs but not charged officer’s bad side, which certainly won’t help your cause.
Your right to keep silent following your arrest doesn’t apply only to the words you speak, how long do police have to file drug charges.
They also apply to the words you write
For this reason, it’s paramount that you avoid signing any document that authorities put before you. In addition, avoid writing down anything that may harm you caught with drugs but not charged.
Also, try to avoid weaseling out of your drug arrest — for example, by attempting to bribe the officer arresting you. It won’t work. Bragging about yourself or dropping names will prove futile, too, and may, in fact, only result in embarrassment for you.
Not all drug possessions are equivalent. The severity of your drug charge depends on the types of drugs you are accused of possessing of drug test.
Example of Drug Classification
Schedule I drugs are those that are easy to abuse and that do not have medical uses. These drugs, which carry the greatest danger, include the likes of marijuana, LSD, GHB, and heroin.
Schedule II drugs, on the other hand, do possess some recognized medical uses. These drugs include prescription medicines such as oxycodone and morphine, opium, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
Schedule III drugs are less likely to be abused and have many medical applications. These types of drugs include Vicodin, ketamine, and anabolic steroids, for example.
Meanwhile, Schedule IV drugs are predominately prescription medicines that are not likely to be abused. Examples of these drugs are Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax.
Finally, Schedule V drugs are medicines with a low possibility of being abused. They typically feature small quantities of codeine or other narcotics.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor
If you face a drug possession charge, your charge will be either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the amount and type of the drug involved, along with other factors.
These other factors, known as aggravated factors, include the following:
- Possessing a drug in a minor’s presence
- Possessing a drug near or in a facility used for drug treatment purposes
- Possessing a drug at a housing unit, in a pool, at a park or in another type of public place
- Possessing a drug near or on school grounds.
- Repeat offenses
If you possessed a Schedule I drug, you will most likely face a felony charge.
A felony charge might also be possible if you were found with a Schedule II drug, particularly if you had a large amount in your possession. This is because the government immediately assumes that you were planning to distribute or sell drugs if you had a large amount with you caught with drugs but not charged.
Even if you were honestly planning to use the drugs personally, not sell them, government officials may still try to push for you caught with drugs but not charged to be convicted of a felony. Why? Because in their eyes, you posed a grave danger to your community.
A felony drug conviction will get you a harsher punishment than a misdemeanor will, with your punishment potentially including years in jail, a hefty fine and probation.
Defenses Against a Charge of Possession
Fortunately, in certain circumstances, how long do police have to file drug charges may be able to defend yourself against a charge of possession effectively.
For instance, perhaps you can demonstrate that you did not know that drugs were near you when police found them and arrested you. Perhaps you were driving your friend’s vehicle and did not realize that he had hidden drugs in his glove compartment.
In addition, let’s say police searched your car or your body without cause. If this happened, then the drugs they found in your possession cannot be used as evidence in court, as authorities violated your constitutional rights. In this situation, the court will dismiss your case.
How Long Do Police Have to File Drug Charges?
Another possible defense involves claiming that a police planted a drug on you while searching. This, however, can be challenging to prove.
Also, note that drug possession falls under two categories: constructive possession and actual possession.
The former refers to situations where defendants were in control of certain drugs even though they did not have these drugs in their possession when they were arrested. The latter refers to situations where defendants actually had drugs on them when they were arrested — such as in their pockets or purses.
The government must prove that you fit either of these categories before you can face a drug possession conviction.
Your Rights Following a Drug Arrest
If authorities claim that you committed a drug crime, it is within your right to go to trial to aggressively fight. Prosecutors at trial must prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard that exists with the goal of ensuring that if you are innocent of a drug crime, you don’t get punished for the crime.
However, let’s say that the weight of the evidence that prosecutors have appears to be heavy. In this case, it may be in your best interest to simply seek to plea bargain with the prosecution. This may lead to lighter charges and thus a more lenient sentence for you in the end.
Your attorney can assess your case and help you to determine the best course of action to take considering the unique circumstances surrounding your caught with drugs but not charged. Attorney Daniel Stockmann of Nebraska says that for this reason, choosing the right attorney is critical. This attorney has constantly emphasized the importance of selecting both a knowledgeable and an experienced legal expert in cases involving drug crimes.
How We Can Help
We offer a comprehensive online attorney directory to help you find the right lawyer right away.
Our directory features over 300 attorneys nationwide, so you can easily find the ones closest to your location. In addition, our directory features attorneys in a wide range of categories, such as criminal defense, bankruptcy, employment, estate planning, immigration, personal injury and even family law and how long do police have to file drug charges.
In addition, we offer tips and advice regarding how to become a lawyer and how to navigate the legal/court system as a plaintiff or defendant in various situations.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how to fight for your best interests if you face a drug possession charge or other legal problems in your state.
CONCLUSION: Jail time for a first-time drug allegation is less likely, but certainly within the realm of possibility. If it's your first run in with the law, you likely have a chance to avoid any jail or prison time if you're convicted of a drug crime in Florida.Who is responsible if drugs are found in your car in Florida? ›
If drugs are found in a car, the driver, passengers, or a combination of both can be charged with possession of illegal drugs and be held responsible. Even if a passenger is found to be in possession of drugs, the driver can be found in violation of constructive possession.How do you beat a drug trafficking charge in KY? ›
- Checking the legality of your arrest warrant.
- Reviewing the arrest process to see if mistakes were made.
- Checking to see if the initial police stop was legal.
- Reviewing any search and seizure which took place for violation of rights.
The best option to beat a simple possession charge is to beat the case in court and get a not guilty or a dismissal verdict if the case goes to trial. During a dismissal, you have a good argument for a motion to suppress the evidence against you, based on an illegal search.What is the mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession in Florida? ›
Florida Statute § 893.135 outlines mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes: Marijuana (25-2,000 pounds): 3 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. Prescription painkillers (4-14 grams): 3 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. Meth (14-28 grams): 3 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.Do first time offenders get probation Florida? ›
Who Can Get Probation in Florida? Generally speaking, people convicted of a minor or non-violent crime can get probation in Florida. Also, those who do not have a prior criminal record (first offenders) may also receive it from the courts.What are the penalties for drugs in Florida? ›
Drug trafficking charges in Florida are also first-degree felonies. Depending on the type of drug and the quantity, the crime comes with mandatory prison sentences of three to 25 years. Penalties for first-degree felonies usually include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.What is the law on possession of a controlled substance in Florida? ›
A conviction for possession of a controlled substance is generally considered a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a sentence of up to five years in a Florida state prison and/or a fine up to $5,000 under Fla. Stat. § 775.082 and . 083.When charging a person for drug possession the state of Florida considers? ›
For all Florida drug possession penalties, the type of drug, amount of the drug (in weight), and intention of the individual must be considered before determining the exact penalties.How do you spot drug traffickers? ›
Frequent visitors at all times of the day or night who only stay for a few minutes. Repeated flickering of cigarette lighters. Individuals loitering around the area as "lookouts" - people who keep watch for police in the area of the drug house and alert occupants of the house should law enforcement come near.
Drug trafficking is typically proven by establishing drug possession and then introducing additional circumstantial evidence or witness testimony.How much time do you get for trafficking drugs in Florida? ›
Mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking crimes range from 3 years to 25 years. Trafficking in any substance is a first-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Only the prosecutor is authorized to waive a mandatory minimum sentence.How long do you go to jail for possession of a controlled substance in Illinois? ›
15 to 100 grams – Leads to imprisonment for a period of four to 15 years; 100 to 400 grams – Leads to imprisonment for a period of six to 30 years; 400 to 900 grams – Leads to imprisonment for a period of eight to 40 years; or. 900 grams or more – Leads to imprisonment for a period of 10 to 50 years.How long do you go to jail for drug possession in Illinois? ›
Drug Possession Charges in Illinois
Possession of 10-30 grams is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,500 and up to six months in jail. Possession of 30-100 grams is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
- you did not “possess” a drug;
- you wish to enter a drug diversion program;
- you had a valid prescription for the drug;
- you did not know that the substance in possession was a “controlled substance;” and/or.
- the police violated your constitutional rights.
- Speeding to elude police.
- Not stopping a boat when ordered by law enforcement to stop.
- Illegally selling a handful to someone under 21 years of age.
- Possession of an assault weapon.
- Second-degree assault with a firearm.
- Third-degree burglary with a firearm.
What is a mandatory minimum? A mandatory minimum is a sentence, created by Congress or a state legislature, which the court must give to a person convicted of a crime, no matter what the unique circumstances of the offender or the offense are.How many oxycodone pills is considered trafficking? ›
Trafficking in Prescription Medication – Minimum Amounts
Therefore, you may be charged with trafficking even if you only have a couple dozen pills that contain a mixture of oxycodone. The crime of possession is upgraded to trafficking if you possess 7 grams or more of oxycodone, or 14 grams or more of hydrocodone.
What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test on Probation in Florida? If you fail a drug test while on probation, you will be notified by your probation officer who will then submit the results of the drug test to the judge assigned to your case. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide how to move forward with your case.What is drug offender probation in Florida? ›
Drug Offender Probation: An intensive form of supervision, which emphasizes treatment for drug offenders. This types of supervision includes elements of substance abuse treatment and random drug testing.
Yes. Your probation officer is allowed to search you or your property without a warrant or permission. A police officer may also physically search you, with your probation officer present. Your probation officer also has the authority to search you without a police officer present.Do you lose your license for a drug charge in Florida? ›
Generally, drug possession in Florida can result in having a driver's license revoked for a year or until the offender has completed a drug treatment program approved by the state.What happens if you fail drug court in Florida? ›
QWhat happens if Drug Court participants fail to comply with the Program's requirements? If clients consistently fail to comply with Program requirements, they may be removed from the Program and prosecuted in Criminal Court. If convicted, they may serve time in jail.How long is drug court in Florida? ›
Generally, Florida Drug Court programs last for at least twelve months and require participants to: Undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment. Attend individual or group counseling sessions.What is a Schedule 1 drug charge in Florida? ›
For most Schedule I drugs, possession can result in up to five years' imprisonment, sale (or possession of a certain amount or more) can result in up to 15 years' imprisonment, and trafficking can result in up to 30 years imprisonment with a minimum sentence of three years.How long do you go to jail for possession with intent to sell in Florida? ›
In Florida, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver can be classified as a second or third degree felony, depending on the type of substance involved. The maximum penalties for this offense may range from 5 to 15 years in prison.What is a Schedule 3 controlled substance in Florida? ›
Florida Schedule III drugs include codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone. The potential for abuse with Schedule III drugs is far lower than the two above schedules.What are the new sentencing guidelines for Florida? ›
The proposed new scheme would have fifth degree felonies drawing sentences up to three years, fourth degree felonies up to six years, third degree felonies up to 14 years, second degree felonies up to 20 years, and first-degree felonies up to 30 years.What is the first offense for possession of drug paraphernalia in Florida? ›
In Florida, possession or use of drug paraphernalia is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include up to 365 days in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.What is simple possession in Florida? ›
In Florida, drug possession is the offense of illegally and knowingly holding or possessing a controlled substance. Simple possession implies that the drug was meant for personal use without the intent to sell. The charges for this offense can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
Fact Sheet: Drug-Related Crime
Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines are examples of drugs classified to have abuse potential. Drugs are also related to crime through the effects they have on the user's behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activity in connection with drug traffick- ing.
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán
Guzman is the most notorious drug lord of all time, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In the 1980s, he was a member of the Guadalajara Cartel and used to work for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo.
Drug Trafficking Amount
For example, someone found in possession of 1 or more grams of LSD (lysergic acid diethylmide), 5 or more grams of crack cocaine, 500 or more grams of powdered cocaine, or 100 or more grams of heroin will face drug trafficking charges.
Drug trafficking is generally defined as the production, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs including cocaine, LSD, PCP, heroin, and marijuana. On the other hand, drug possession refers to simply being caught while having illegal drugs.What is the minimum sentence for drug trafficking in the US? ›
Not less than 10 yrs. or more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine not more than $20 moillion if an individual, $75 million if other than an individual.Can you get probation for drug trafficking Florida? ›
For example, if the court modifies the charge from drug trafficking to possession, then the penalty may go from prison to probation.What level felony is drug trafficking in Florida? ›
Under Florida law, Drug Trafficking is a first degree felony with severe mandatory minimum penalties (up to 30 years in prison).Is Zofran a controlled substance? ›
Zofran is a Schedule 4 (prescription only) medicine.What is the ILCS possession of drug paraphernalia? ›
(a) A person who knowingly possesses an item of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the human body, or in preparing a controlled substance for that use, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for which the court shall impose a minimum ...How long is a sentence for having drugs? ›
The average length of a sentence for drug possession on state charges is about 20 months, or a little bit less than two years. The average length of a sentence on federal charges is 81 months or less than 7 years. One reason for this difference is that more severe charges are more likely to be filed on a federal level.
In Illinois, it is a Class 1 felony to possess certain quantities of controlled substances – most commonly, more than 15 grams of heroin or cocaine (See 720 ILCS 5/570-402(a)(1) and 720 ILCS 5/570-402(b)(1)).What is the statute of limitations on drug charges in Illinois? ›
Illinois Drug Crimes: What Is the Statute of Limitations? The statute of limitations on criminal charges in Illinois is generally three years for a felony and 18 months for a misdemeanor. This means that the state must bring charges against you within that time limit.What are Schedule 2 drugs in Illinois? ›
Schedule II/IIN substances (2/2N)
Examples of Schedule II narcotic controlled substances are: opium, morphine, codeine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, pantopon, meperidine (Demerol), and hydrocodone (Vicodin®). Examples of Schedule IIN non-narcotic would be Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Nabilone.
Schedule II Drugs
Illinois will classify a drug as a Schedule II controlled substance if: There is a high potential for abuse, The drug has a currently accepted medical use, and. Abuse of the drug may lead to “severe psychological or physiological dependence.”
Drug trafficking charges in Florida are also first-degree felonies. Depending on the type of drug and the quantity, the crime comes with mandatory prison sentences of three to 25 years. Penalties for first-degree felonies usually include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.Can you get probation for a felony drug charge Florida? ›
If you are convicted of possession of up to 28 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of Heroin, 14 grams of meth, 7 grams of Oxycodone, and 3 grams of any synthetic drug, you face up to five years in jail, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.How much is bail for drug possession in Florida? ›
Possession of controlled substance bond is usually set at $1000 for misdemeanor and $2-5,000 for a felony. Contact Altman Bail Bonds to discuss posting bail for Drug Possession, Trafficking, Possession with Intent to Deliver, Drug Paraphernalia, or Possession of Controlled Substance. (352) 343-6090Click to Call!What percentage of their sentence must Florida inmates serve? ›
Since October 1, 1995, Florida Statute 944.275 has mandated that all state prisoners must serve no less than 85% of their sentence.Can a mandatory minimum sentence be reduced in Florida? ›
Only the state attorney can waive a mandatory minimum sentence. Many crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences. Everything from DUI to drug trafficking to firearm crimes (10-20-Life). However, a good defense attorney can often persuade the state attorney to waive a mandatory minimum sentence.How long is a sentence for drug use? ›
The average length of a sentence for drug possession on state charges is about 20 months, or a little bit less than two years. The average length of a sentence on federal charges is 81 months or less than 7 years.
Once these 5 criteria are satisfied, a judge is required to impose the minimum mandatory term of imprisonment specified by Florida law as follows: Life felony = Life imprisonment. First-degree felony = 30-year prison term. Second-degree felony = 15-year prison term.What happens if you fail a drug test on probation in Florida? ›
If you fail a drug test, your probation may be reinstated and you may have to participate in a substance abuse treatment program. If you committed a new crime, your probation may be revoked and you may have to serve the original jail sentence that probation was helping you avoid.What happens if you fail a drug test on felony probation in Florida? ›
What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test on Probation in Florida? If you fail a drug test while on probation, you will be notified by your probation officer who will then submit the results of the drug test to the judge assigned to your case. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide how to move forward with your case.How long do you stay in jail if you can t make bail in Florida? ›
If someone is arrested without a bond, he or she will probably have to stay in jail overnight and be taken the next day to a hearing called "first appearance," where the judge will: (1) release the person on his or her promise to appear at all subsequent court appearances (called signature release, or recognizance ...Can I bail myself out of jail in Florida? ›
The simple answer is yes, they can bail themselves out of jail, but that yes is dependent on several factors.What happens if you can't make bail in Florida? ›
If the accused cannot afford to pay the full bail amount set by the court, they can hire a bail bondsman who charges a non-refundable fee, usually 10 percent of the bond. If the accused fails to appear in court, the bondsman is responsible for the full bond amount.What is the 85 rule in Florida? ›
For crimes committed on or after October 1, 1995, inmates are required to serve 85% of each sentence imposed. Satisfaction of 85% includes time served in the county jail as credited by the sentencing court. These inmates are eligible to earn up to 10 days per month incentive gain time.What is the 65 rule for Florida inmates? ›
Calling the state's criminal justice system “outdated,” Hart filed a proposal this week (HB 115) that would allow non-violent offenders to reduce their mandatory time served from 85 percent to 65 percent through their successful completion of academic and other learning courses while incarcerated.How many days equal a month in jail? ›
Rather, every month in a sentence should be worth 30 days, such that every “year” would count as 360 days (12 months x 30 days), not 365.