Possession of Cocaine in Florida: Definition, Penalties, & Defenses

David Weisselberger | November 10, 2023

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In drug offenses, few infractions carry the weight and gravity of cocaine possession in Florida. It's not merely a crime; it's a third-degree felony, potentially leading to a maximum of 5 years in prison. 

This controlled substance, defined under Florida Statute 893.13.6a, brings intricate legal nuances into sharp focus. The legal intricacies, potential penalties, and available defenses are crucial when confronting such charges. This guide is your compass through these complex waters, providing essential understanding for the journey ahead. 

Join us as we skillfully navigate the intricate landscape of cocaine possession charges in Florida, ensuring your rights are protected!

Possession of Cocaine in Florida?

cocain possession in florida

Possession of cocaine in Florida refers to the unlawful ownership, custody, or control of this controlled substance. Under the Florida Statutes, Chapter 893, § 893.13, cocaine possession is categorized as a third-degree felony. This means that if you are found in possession of cocaine, you could face severe legal consequences.

Under Florida law, the penalties for possession of cocaine include a maximum of 5 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000. This makes it essential to grasp the seriousness of this offense and the potential impact on your life.

Penalties for Possession of Cocaine in Florida

Being caught with cocaine in Florida can result in severe consequences that can disrupt your life. State laws determine these consequences and can change based on your specific situation. It's important to understand these potential penalties when facing such charges.

Third-Degree Felony

Possession of cocaine in Florida is classified as a third-degree felony. This classification alone underscores the gravity of the offense. A third-degree felony is a serious criminal charge with far-reaching implications.

Maximum Five-Year Prison Sentence

If convicted of possession of cocaine, you could potentially face a maximum prison sentence of up to five years. This means that you may be separated from your family, job, and daily life for a substantial period, which can have lasting consequences on your personal and professional life. If you need help, seek help from an experienced attorney now. 

Fines of Up to $5,000

In addition to the prison sentence, you may be subjected to fines. The maximum fine for possession of cocaine in Florida can go up to $5,000. These fines can add to the financial burden and stress associated with the legal process.

It's essential to recognize that these penalties depend on factors such as prior criminal history, the quantity of cocaine in your possession, and whether the prosecution alleges intent to distribute or sell the drug. Additionally, Florida law provides for mandatory minimum sentences in certain situations, which can further intensify the penalties.

Defenses for Possession of Cocaine in Florida

When facing possession of cocaine charges in Florida, it's essential to understand that you have legal options and defenses to protect your rights. Here are some key defenses that may be available to you:

Lack of Knowledge

If you were unaware that the substance in your possession was cocaine, you may have a valid defense. Proving that you did not know the illicit nature of the substance can be a challenging but effective defense. This defense is particularly relevant when you may have been near the cocaine without knowing it was present.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures. If law enforcement officers conduct illegal search and seizure when obtaining the cocaine as evidence, it may be possible to have the evidence suppressed. In such cases, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court, potentially leading to a dismissal of the charges.

Valid Prescription

If you have a valid prescription for a medication that contains cocaine or a related substance, this can serve as a strong defense against possession charges. It's essential to provide clear and documented evidence of the prescription and that you were using the substance as directed by a medical professional.

Constructive Possession

In some cases, it may be challenging for the prosecution to prove that you had actual, physical possession of the cocaine. Constructive possession may be claimed if the cocaine was not found directly on your person but in an area or property you share with others. Proving constructive possession can be complex, and it requires a thorough examination of the circumstances.

How Our Attorney Can Help

When facing charges related to cocaine possession, it is crucial to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. And if we are talking about a criminal defense attorney, Erase the Case is here for you. Our expert attorneys can evaluate the specific details of your case, investigate potential defense strategies, and endeavor to reduce the potential penalties you may face. 

It's essential to recognize that drug-related offenses, such as possessing cocaine, may result in additional consequences, including a criminal record that could hinder your future job prospects and educational pursuits. Understanding the potential penalties and taking proactive measures to safeguard your legal rights is essential for effectively navigating the legal system while minimizing the long-term impact on your life. If you require assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us now!


How much cocaine is a felony in Florida?

In Florida, any amount of cocaine possession is classified as a felony offense.

How many grams of cocaine is considered trafficking in Florida?

The quantity of cocaine required for a trafficking charge varies depending on the specific weight thresholds outlined in Florida law. Generally, it is a substantial amount that leads to trafficking charges.

What is the mandatory minimum for cocaine in Florida?

The mandatory minimum sentence for cocaine-related offenses in Florida can differ depending on various factors, including the quantity of cocaine and prior criminal history.

How long do you go to jail for drug possession in Florida?

The length of incarceration for drug possession in Florida varies based on the specific offense, the amount of the controlled substance, and any previous convictions. It is essential to consult legal counsel to understand the potential jail time associated with your specific case.

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David Weisselberger
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"David Weisselberger is the founder of Erase The Case. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Florida, & also his Juris Doctor from UM School of Law. Afterwards, He has been working as a former Miami-Dade County Assistant Public Defender. Also, as a solo lawyer and former associate at South Florida’s honored Saban & Solomon Law Firm. He has learned firsthand the effects people face from having a public criminal arrest record mark their lives. Therefore, David has always been working hard to help people get rid of haunting crimnal past and have a second chance in life"

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