The severity of drug charges can sometimes depend simply on where the allegedly illegal transaction takes place. For example, if cocaine is simply sold by a person, and that person is convicted, they will be convicted of a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, should that exact transaction occur within 1,000 feet of a school, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight, the charge is elevated to a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. As such, it is important to challenge every aspect of this crime from the transaction itself, the distance to the school, and the time of the transaction. Drug crime attorney Adam L. Bantner, II can help you if you’ve been charged in the Tampa Bay area with this type of crime. Call 813.416.7965 for your free consultation.
In addition to the Delivery charge, it is not uncommon to get charged with possession of cocaine in the same case. Should this charge arise following a traffic stop in which the vehicle is occupied by more than one person, and the cocaine is found in a common area of the vehicle, you have a winnable case. This is called constructive possession and unless there is independent proof of possession, i.e, statements, fingerprints, etc., the charge is subject to a judgment of acquittal at trial. Rangel v. State, 110 So.3d 41 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013).
(c) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person may not sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a child care facility as defined in s. 402.302 or a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight, or at any time in, on, or within 1,000 feet of real property comprising a state, county, or municipal park, a community center, or a publicly owned recreational facility. As used in this paragraph, the term “community center” means a facility operated by a nonprofit community-based organization for the provision of recreational, social, or educational services to the public. A person who violates this paragraph with respect to:
1. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a) [cocaine is described in 893.03(2)(a)], (2)(b), or (2)(c)4. commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The defendant must be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 calendar years unless the offense was committed within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a child care facility as defined in s. 402.302.2. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)5., (2)(c)6., (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (3), or (4) commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
A conviction on a charge of Delivery of Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or 30 years of probation. It also carries with it a 3-year minimum mandatory sentence.
Call Adam at 813.416.7965 today for your free consultation! Adam is an experienced criminal defense attorney that has been defending those accused of crimes in Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, and Polk County since 2006!