Possession of Cocaine in Florida
It is a Third Degree Felony to possess any amount of cocaine in Florida, even a bag of residue.
And because of the serious consequences for such a simple crime, it is important to know the:
Penalties for Cocaine Possession
The crime of Possession of Cocaine is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 3 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of felony possession of cocaine, you could receive any combination of the following penalties:
- Five years of probation;
- Five years in prison; or
- A fine of up to a $5,000.
Driver License Suspension
Your Florida driver's license will be suspended for two years if you are adjudicated guilty by the court upon conviction.
Defenses to Cocaine Possession
If the cocaine was found in a place where more than one person had access, the prosecutor would have to comply with the law of constructive possession, which requires the prosecutor to prove the following two elements before you can be convicted: 
- Knowledge of the cocaine's presence;
- Dominion and control over the cocaine.
Below are scenarios where it can be argued the prosecutor could not meet their burden of proving constructive possession of cocaine.
Scenario 1: You were stopped while driving a friend's car and police found cocaine in the glove box, they would be unable to convict you of possession of cocaine unless they had some proof that you knew the cocaine was present.
Scenario 2: You were driving your car, had a friend with you, and your friend takes his personal bag of cocaine and places it at his feet. The police then stop you, see your friend's bag, and arrest both of you. They should be unable to convict you of Possession of Cocaine because even though you knew the cocaine was there, your friend is the only person who exercised dominion and control over it.
Illegal Search and Seizure
More often than not, law enforcement exceed the scope of their authority and require people to submit to a vehicle, home, or body search; or they may coerce a person into agreeing to a search. If we can prove that either instance occurred, the courts will suppress the resulting evidence as having been illegally obtained.
Other suppression possibilities that may present themselves are: if law enforcement obtained a search warrant in bad faith or if you were arrested without probable cause.
Lack of Knowledge
It is an affirmative defense to the crime of Possession of Cocaine if you can prove that you did not know the substance in your possession was cocaine. Importantly, this defense requires you to testify to your lack of knowledge of the substances illegal nature. 
A person who is experiencing a drug-related overdose that needs medical assistance, or a person assisting the person that needs medical assistance, is immune from prosecution for possession of cocaine if it can be shown the evidence was obtained as a result of the overdose and need for medical assistance. 
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
If you have been charged or arrested with the crime of Possession of Cocaine in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.