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Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida


When you’re accused of possession of a controlled substance, the charges you’re facing may be steep penalties for the charges. These penalties can impact your life for months or even years, making your recovery after a conviction more difficult. 

The easiest way to avoid these penalties is to avoid a conviction. A Tampa drug lawyer from Hersem Law can help. But what happens if you don’t fight the charges? Here’s what you can expect. 

Prison Time 

When you’re convicted of possessing controlled substances, one of the first penalties you may face is prison time. Possession of a controlled substance can be up to a third-degree felony. That can lead to up to five years in prison. 

That’s a long time to be away from your family and out of the workforce. Because of this, you may find it even more difficult to return to life outside of prison after your sentence is over. 


You may have the option to pursue probation, but that doesn’t mean you’re free from any penalties. Probation means that you may serve your sentence outside of prison, but you’ll also face restrictions. For example, you may be barred from going near places where you may have purchased drugs or owning a firearm. You may also be expected to attend meetings with your probation officer. 

If you fail to do any of these things, you may lose your probation privileges. That means you’ll have to serve the remainder of your sentence in prison. 

Financial Penalties 

The financial costs of a criminal conviction can be steep, too. For possession of a controlled substance, you may be expected to pay up to $5,000 in fines

That may wipe out your savings, or it may leave you in debt for some time. You may be unable to work for years because of your prison sentence, leaving you unable to make the money to pay off these fines. That can put your family under unneeded financial strain during this already-difficult time. 

Long-Term Impacts of a Criminal Conviction

But even if you pay these fines, serve out your sentence, and do everything right, you may still have trouble recovering from a conviction. If you’re convicted of a felony, those charges can stay on your record for the rest of your life. 

Your criminal record can be seen by anyone performing a background check. That means potential employers may see your conviction and refuse to hire you. Landlords may refuse you housing. Lenders like banks may refuse that refinancing your family needs to keep the house. 

That can have a devastating financial and social impact on your life. With a criminal record, especially one with a felony, you may have a difficult time overcoming your history and getting your life back on track. 

Connect with a Defense Attorney in Florida 

When you’re accused of a crime, you need to focus on your defense, rather than accepting the penalties you may face.

Let your lawyer at Hersem Law help you defend your case and work to overcome the penalties you may face. We offer free strategy sessions so you know what we can do for you before your case goes to court. To get started with your free session, call 813-251-7291 or complete the following online contact form.