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St. Petersburg Drug Lawyer

Being convicted of a drug-related offense can hurt your record, so you’ll need to take action as soon as possible. To get your drug charges reduced or dropped, you’ll need to reach out to a defense attorney in St. Petersburg for the help you need.

While drug abuse prevention programs try to reduce the use of controlled substances, substance abuse is still a major problem, and not just in Florida. Officers are looking for people suspected of abusing, selling, or manufacturing these drugs. That means that if you’re involved in these activities, you could end up being accused of a major crime.

Fighting these drug-related charges is important. Your future is on the line, but it can be tough to fight back. You’ll need a lawyer who understands what a difficult position you’re in, and you’ll need someone who can give you the aggressive defense you deserve. That’s why you need a St. Petersburg drug lawyer.

At Hersem Law, we understand how difficult it can be to get your charges dropped. However, we’re here to help when you’re looking at the possibility of jail time and high fines. If you’ve been accused of a crime related to controlled substances, reach out for help in getting your future protected. We’re driven by results, but we’re focused on you.

Types of Drug-Related Offenses

When you’re accused of a drug-related offense, understanding the consequences is vital. You need to understand the impact a conviction could have if you don’t defend yourself. Those consequences can haunt you for some time.

Typically, a conviction will include two things: a jail sentence and fines. While other consequences might be included, such as license suspension, community service, or time in a rehab program, jail time and fines are fairly standard. Florida places a maximum on these for each type of offense, but even a few days in jail can really affect your life.

If you’ve been accused of a drug-related offense and don’t do anything about it, you could face one of the following penalties listed below. Keep in mind that these potential penalties will likely be more serious if you have prior convictions or other factors that could lead to enhanced charges.

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor – Up to sixty days in jail; $500 maximum fine
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor – Up to one year in jail; $1,000 maximum fine
  • Third-Degree Felony Up to five years in prison; $5,000 maximum fine
  • Second-Degree Felony – Up to fifteen years in prison; $10,000 maximum fine

First-Degree Felony – Up to thirty years in prison; $10,000 maximum fine

Long-Term Consequences of Drug Convictions

Unfortunately, your conviction doesn’t end when you leave jail and pay your fines. Instead, you’ll be permanently labeled as a criminal, and perhaps even as a felon. This can hurt your future opportunities for some time, particularly a felony charge and label.

For example, you’ll likely need to seek employment when you’ve left prison, but a criminal record makes that tough. Some jobs and industries may be completely out of your reach, and many employers will do a background check to make sure you don’t have a record.  Unfortunately, landlords often do the same, limiting your housing options as well.

You may have the option to seal your record, but in Florida, that’s tough to do. You’ll have only one chance to have your record sealed, and you’ll need to provide information that clears you. Some crimes may not be sealable, so you’ll need to speak to your lawyer if you have been convicted.

Knowing all this, it’s easy to see how your future could be in trouble if you don’t act now. Even if you’ve done your time, that conviction stays with you, making it difficult to recover. As such, you’ll need to fight back when you’re accused of a serious crime like a drug offense.

Defenses for Florida Drug Charges

Determining how to approach your case will depend on the drug charges you’re accused of. For example, if you were charged with possession, we might focus on proving that the drugs in question weren’t yours. In some cases, we may even have the substances tested, since they may not be drugs at all.

If you were accused of selling or trafficking drugs, we may focus on proving that you weren’t the person involved. We’ll seek out any evidence about your location during the incident. They’re required to provide proof beyond reasonable doubt, so we’ll focus on showing you likely weren’t responsible.

What defense is best for your St. Petersburg drug case? That depends, of course, on the details of your case. Your lawyer will determine the best answer for you and help you resolve this situation.

Why You Need a St. Petersburg Lawyer

When you’re accused of a crime involving drugs, you’ll need someone with the tools to put all the parts of your case together. You’ll need an understanding listener as well as an aggressive defender. You also need to know what a conviction would entail so you know what you could be facing if you don’t fight back.

As such, having support on your side is vital. Knowing that your future is on the line is overwhelming and upsetting. You may not have had to defend yourself before, so entering the courtroom for your criminal trial may be a frightening thing. Fortunately, our attorney also understands how difficult this is. When you’re struggling with a case, you also need understanding and empathy, and we can provide that.  

Don’t Defend Yourself without Help

You might be thinking, however, that simply defending yourself is the better option. You might have what you believe is solid evidence, or on the other hand, you might believe there’s no chance for your charges to be dropped. Either way, you might believe that it’s better not to spend your time and money on a lawyer. Unfortunately, that could be a costly mistake.

As someone likely unfamiliar with the laws surrounding drug-related offenses, you might struggle to understand the details of your charges. You may not know the penalties or what you can do to defend yourself.

While there are plenty of online sites offering free advice about your case, none of them can give you the individual attention that your case needs. Get the help you need and at least get your charges reduced, instead of dealing with the consequences of defending yourself alone.  

Public Defenders Are a Risk

What about a public defender? They’re still lawyers, but they don’t have their own firms. They may seem like a cheaper option to get the legal guidance you need. Unfortunately, a public defender is not always the wisest option.

Remember that you’re not the only one seeking help with a drug offense or other charges. A public defender might have multiple clients in a day, meaning that they can’t give your case the devoted consideration it needs. Instead, they’ll defend you with what they can gather over the short time they spend with you. For these reasons, it’s often better to seek out a lawyer than to take a risk.

Contact a St. Petersburg Drug Attorney

When you’ve been accused of a crime involving drugs, there’s a chance that your life will be affected for years after a conviction. You’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, and those can haunt you. Even if you have the opportunity to have your record sealed, the laws are strict. If you don’t take action now, your options later will be limited.

That’s why a lawyer at Hersem Law is ready to fight for you. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with your charges, whether they’re for drug possession, sale, or manufacturing or even a drug-related DUI. We know you’re in a tough situation, but we also know how to defend you and ideally get your charges dropped.

If you’re struggling to avoid a conviction, seek out a strategy session with a St. Petersburg drug lawyer at Hersem Law. We’ll help you fight back for your future. To get started, call 813-251-7291 or fill out the online form below.