Jacksonville Drug Crimes Carry Stiff Penalties; Require Experienced Defense Attorney

Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog recently reported on a 30-year-old man who faces charges of cultivating and possessing marijuana as the result of an alleged marijuana grow house operation.

While that is one type of scenario in which a person can face a drug charge, there are many others. Law enforcement is enamored with “the war on drugs” and uses many resources to cut down on the real or perceived problem of drugs in America.
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And when charges are brought against citizens, they should be fought aggressively by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney. A vigorous defense will include motions to suppress statements and evidence, if applicable, efforts to prove eye witness accounts are inaccurate or witnesses aren’t credible as well as alternative theories. Alternative sentencing options, including treatment, are also often options when the charges can’t be beaten in court.

Jacksonville drug charges can be prosecuted with tough penalties in state court. And for juveniles who faces drug charges, it is imperative that they be prosecuted in juvenile court rather than adult court because of the possible future implications.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were 6,007 drug crime arrests in 2010 in Duval County. That’s down significantly from 2009, when 7,486 people were arrested for drugs. That’s a 25 percent dip.

How drug crimes are punished are outlined by Florida Statute 893. In this chapter, lawmakers have defined which drugs are categorized as controlled substances, what the penalties are for possessing them, producing them, selling or buying them and other penalties.

What this chapter also does is lays out the increased penalties for a person charged with having drugs in certain areas of town. For instance, in 2000->Ch0893->Section%2013#0893.13″ target=”_blank”>Florida Statute 893.13, the penalties against a person who is caught committing a drug crime within 1,000 feet of certain places are enhanced. Substances involved in a regular possession case are bumped from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony, upping the penalties by 15 years and a third-degree felony (up to 5 years in prison) to a second-degree felony (up to 15 years in prison).

Those places are:
-The real property comprising a child care facility.

-A public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 a.m.

-A physical place for worship at which a church or religious organization regularly conducts religious services.

-A convenience business.

Obviously, the penalties for these types of crimes are extremely serious. A person could be facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted of selling certain types of drugs near one of these places, so fighting the charges are especially important.

And many of these drug crimes comprise juvenile crime in Jacksonville. Teenagers who commit drug crimes have a lot on the line because a conviction on their record can disqualify them from scholarships, entry into colleges or universities as well as the armed forces.

It is important to consult immediately with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney in order to make sure the case is prosecuted in juvenile court rather than adult court so that it is possible for them to be penalized with camps and community service rather than hard time that will stay on their criminal history forever.


The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.