Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine anxiolytic. That means that it is an anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medication that works by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
Xanax is also a listed Schedule IV drug in Florida, which makes it a third-degree felony to be found in possession of any amount of Xanax. Even a single pill can mean facing criminal charges and if you find yourself in this position then it is crucial to educate yourself with the help of a criminal attorney in Miami.
Understanding the Charges and Penalties
Possession of Xanax is a third-degree felony in Florida and is therefore punishable by up to five years in prison or probation and $5,000 in fines. A judge may choose any combination of those penalties.
Drivers may also face suspension of their driving license pursuant to Florida Statute 322.055.
With the help of a Miami drug crimes attorney, a defendant may be able to mount a defense based on several mitigating factors. Common defenses include:
- Constructive possession
- Illegal search and seizure
- Temporary possession
- Lack of knowledge
- Prescription defense
If the defendant can produce a valid prescription that pre-dates their charges, then they can avoid any fines or penalties. Likewise, if they can prove that the substance was not their own, then they can use the defense of temporary possession.
Constructive possession means that in scenarios where one or more person would have had access to the drug, the prosecution will be responsible for proving that the defendant had knowledge of the Xanax and had ‘dominion and control’ over it.
Illegal search and seizure protects those that had their premises or vehicles searched without consent and without a warrant, or that may have been coerced into agreeing to be searched.
Lack of knowledge becomes relevant where the defendant was not aware of the nature of the drug. In this case, you will need to testify to your lack of knowledge.
There are many instances in which a defendant may be able to fight the charges filed against them with the help of a criminal attorney in Miami. If you think that you might be eligible for any of these, then you should get in touch with a criminal lawyer in Miami who will be able to bring their considerable experience in the case in order to help you avoid the harshest penalties.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions, (305) 615-1285.
View more contact information here: Criminal Attorney in Miami.