Possession of Codeine

orlando drug defense attorney

Codeine is a narcotic used to treat pain but more commonly sold as cough medicine. One can only legally possess codeine with a doctor’s prescription, but that hasn’t stopped recreational users from getting their hands on this highly addictive opioid. The U.S. government classifies codeine as a Schedule II drug due to its “high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

With many urban music artists mentioning the drug in their music and even using it themselves recreationally, there has been an increase in the demand for codeine in recent years. However, it’s essential to know that possessing codeine without a valid prescription is illegal and result in severe criminal penalties. If you’re being charged with illegal possession of codeine, reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can make you aware of your legal defense options.

The Orlando codeine possession defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are seasoned criminal defense attorneys. With experience as state and local prosecutors, our team of attorneys has a thorough understanding of how the state will approach criminal prosecution. Allow us to apply our insight to your benefit. Contact us to speak with an attorney today.

Florida Penalties for Possession of Codeine

Illegal possession of over 14 grams of codeine is a first-degree felony in Florida. The extent of the penalties you face for the charge depends on your criminal history but more so the amount of codeine caught in your possession. The Florida penalties for illegal possession of codeine per Florida Statute § 893.135 are as follows:

  • 14 to 28 Grams: At least three years in prison and $50,000 in fines
  • 28 to 50 Grams: At least seven years in prison and $100,000 in fines
  • 50 to 200 Grams: At least 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines
  • 200 Grams to 30 Kilograms: At least 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines

When determining the amount of codeine in your possession, law enforcement is not restricted to measuring only the pure codeine. The law states that “any mixture containing such substance” can be calculated into the total weight.

With such grave penalties, it is essential that you secure aggressive legal representation who can implement the most effective defense to your charges.

Defense Strategies Against Codeine Possession

There are several defenses we can present on your behalf depending on the specifics of your arrests. Here are some of the most common defenses in drug possession cases:

Illegal Search & Seizure

Law enforcement overstepped their authority by coercing you to agree to a search or simply required you to submit to a search. The judge can suppress any evidence found during the search in such instances.

Lack of Knowledge

You were unaware that the codeine was in your possession. When bringing forth a lack of knowledge defense, however, you must also testify that you didn’t understand that the substance itself was illegal.

Constructive Possession

More than one person had access to the area where the codeine was found. When refuting the defense, the State must prove that you had knowledge of the codeine’s presence and that you had dominion and control over the drug as well.

Temporary Possession

You only had temporary, transitory, or momentary possession of the codeine and never had complete dominion or control over the drug.

Prescription Defense

People are often arrested for codeine possession due to being unable to produce a valid prescription or recently dispensed bottle. By providing a prescription or getting your doctor to write a letter detailing the amount prescribed, we can get the charges dropped.

Overdose Defense

You were experiencing an overdose or assisting an individual experiencing an overdose at the time the drugs were found. You are immune from prosecution for codeine possession in such instances.

Orlando Codeine Possession Defense Lawyers

The Orlando codeine possession defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and are ready to provide you with the legal representation you deserve. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.