Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine in Florida

Popularized by the TV series Breaking Bad, methamphetamine (known by the street names of Crystal Meth or Crank) is a highly addictive narcotic that is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance in Florida.

Because of its highly addictive nature, Florida aggressively prosecutes individuals who deal in methamphetamine.

If charged with Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine, it is important to know the:

Definition of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine

Under Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a)(1), the crime of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine is committed when a person:

  1. Sells, manufactures, or delivers any amount of methamphetamine; or
  2. Possesses any amount of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the methamphetamine.

Penalties for Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine

The crime of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 5 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
  • Up to fifteen (15) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Driver's License Suspension

Pursuant to Florida Statute 322.055, any person convicted of Sale or Delivery of Meth will have their driver’s license or driving privilege revoked for one year by the Florida DHSMV.

Professional License Suspension

Pursuant to Florida Statute 893.11, a person convicted of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine will be subject to the emergency suspension of any Professional License issued by the State of Florida that authorizes the practicing of a profession or trade.

Defenses to Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, common defenses to the crime of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine are:

Constructive Possession

If the methamphetamine 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 of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine: [1]

  1. Knowledge of the Methamphetamine' presence; and
  2. Dominion and control over the methamphetamine, which means more than the mere ability to reach out and touch the methamphetamine. [2]

Below are scenarios where it can be argued the prosecutor could not meet their burden of proving constructive Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine.

Scenario 1: You were stopped while driving a friend's car and police found methamphetamine in the glove box, they would be unable to convict you of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine unless they had some proof that you knew the methamphetamine was present.
Scenario 2: You were driving your car, had a friend with you, and your friend takes a large bag of methamphetamine 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 Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine because even though you knew the methamphetamine was present, 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 Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine if you can prove that you did not know the substance in your possession was methamphetamine. Because knowledge is an affirmative defense, you would be required to testify a lack of knowledge of the substance's illegal nature. [3]

Personal Use

It is a defense to the crime of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine that the methamphetamine was possessed for personal use. [4]

In such cases, the State would have to present evidence that is inconsistent with personal possession; such as an abnormal quantity of drugs, scales, bundled money, ledgers, or distribution paraphernalia.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been charged with the crime of Sale or Delivery of Methamphetamine in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. GG v. State, 84 So. 3d 1162 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012)
  2. Smith v. State, 123 So. 3d 656, 658 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013)
  3. Florida Statute 893.101
  4. Glenn v. State, 824 So. 2d 1046 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002)