Drug Crime Lawyer In Gainesville, FL
Florida strictly prohibits the growth of plants used to create illegal substances, and any individual found to be doing so may be charged with the crime of drug cultivation. Typically, drug cultivation laws are classified under or categorized alongside drug manufacturing laws. However, the offenses differ slightly, with drug manufacturing referring to the production of illegal substances through chemical processes and cultivation referring to the operation of naturally growing and harvesting illicit substances.
Drug cultivation charges carry serious weight, including legal penalties such as years of imprisonment and hefty fines — don't let a drug crime conviction ruin your life. If you or a loved one are facing charges involving the cultivation of illegal substances, reach out to our experienced drug defense lawyer, Adam Stout, immediately for legal guidance and assistance.
Contact Stout Defense, P.A. today to schedule a free case consultation with our skilled criminal defense attorney!
Florida Laws On Drug Cultivation
Per Florida Statute §893.02(5), cultivating is officially defined as "the preparation of any soil or hydroponic medium for the planting of a controlled substance or the tending and care or harvesting of a controlled substance." Further, Florida state laws strictly prohibit the cultivation or manufacturing of illegal substances, as outlined in Florida Statute §893.13. Additionally, the mere possession of specific chemicals or equipment used in the cultivation process, coupled with the intent to cultivate/manufacture a controlled substance, is prohibited by state laws.
Penalties For Cultivation
The sentences for drug cultivation will vary depending upon the specifics of each unique case. Usually, the amount, the location, and the classification of drugs produced play a role in determining penalties. In regards to the cultivation of marijuana/cannabis, specific penalties are outlined as follows.
- When in possession of 25 or fewer cannabis plants, the crime of cultivation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- When in possession of 25 or more cannabis plants, the crime of cultivation is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- If a person is charged with the cultivation of marijuana and minors are present or residing at the location where the plants are being cultivated, the charge could be elevated to a first-degree felony, including penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Additionally, individuals convicted of drug cultivation charges may face vehicle or property forfeiture.
Drug Cultivation Defense Strategies
It's easy to fall victim to despair when facing serious drug crime charges. However, with the assistance of a knowledgeable defense attorney, they can implement some strategies to help prove your innocence and potentially reduce harsh sentences. While defense strategies will always vary depending on the specifics of a case, some common drug cultivation defenses our skilled attorney can implement include the following.
- Illegal Search & Seizure: If law enforcement illegally searched your property to collect evidence unlawfully, our attorney can file a motion to suppress the use of illegally gathered evidence.
- Lack Of Knowledge: It's not uncommon for defendants to be unaware that illegal substances were on their property or that the plants they were growing were cannabis plants. Florida law requires proof that defendants knew that they were cultivating illicit substances.
How Our Gainesville Attorney Can Help
Being accused of any kind of legal offense can feel like an uphill battle, but you don't have to fight alone. With years of experience representing individuals charged with drug offenses throughout the state of Florida, Adam Stout, our experienced defense lawyer, can help contest or minimize any drug cultivation charges you may face. So don't let a drug cultivation charge upend your life — contact Stout Defense, P.A. today to schedule a free case consultation!