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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances without a valid prescription in the Florida Panhandle can result in criminal charges for possession of a controlled substance. Even if the possession is for personal use and not to distribute, sell or traffic the substance, an alleged offender can still face serious penalties if convicted, including jail or prison time, a criminal record and/or steep fines.

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance throughout South Walton, it is important to know you do not necessarily have to be convicted of the offense. The state prosecutor must first prove you committed every element of the drug possession offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a difficult burden to meet and any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury can result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.

Destin Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged drug possession offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City. The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s drug laws and will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance throughout Destin and South Walton.


Destin Possession of a Controlled Substance

According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6), an individual can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if they possess a controlled substance, as defined in Florida’s Schedule of Drugs, without a valid prescription.

A Florida controlled substance can include prescription pills, medications, chemicals, street drugs, narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anti-depressants, synthetic substances and natural substances. Examples of controlled substances in the Florida Panhandle include, but are not limited to:

  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD or Acid);
  • Lortab;
  • Hydrocodone;
  • Heroin;
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy);
  • Codeine;
  • Cocaine;
  • Ambien;
  • Adderall;
  • Xanax;
  • Vicodin;
  • Valium;
  • OxyContin;
  • Morphine;
  • Methamphetamines (Meth);
  • Methadone; or
  • Steroids.

Possession in South Walton

In order to be convicted of possession of a controlled substance, the alleged offender must have actual or constructive possession of the substance. Since possession is a required element to this drug offense, if the prosecutor is unable to prove possession beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges may be reduced or even dismissed.

  • Actual Possession — an individual can have actual possession if they have actual, physical control of a controlled substance. This form of possession includes possession anywhere on the body, such as in a hand, in a pocket or in a purse that is currently being worn.
  • Constructive Possession — this form of possession is typically harder to prove and is usually comprised of the following three elements:
    • The alleged offender was aware the substance was in their presence and it was an illegal substance;
    • The alleged offender was able to take actual possession of the substance; and
    • The alleged offender had the intent to actually take possession of the substance.

Florida’s Drug Schedule

Florida’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act defines controlled substances under Fla. Stat. § 893.03.  All substances are classified into five schedules, as defined below:

  • Schedule I — Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use. Possession of any of the substances in this schedule generally results in the most serious criminal penalties.
  • Schedule II — Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, but generally has some form of accepted medical application. Possession of any of the substances in this schedule generally results in serious criminal penalties.
  • Schedule III — Substances in this schedule generally have some potential for abuse, but the potential is lower than Schedule I or II substances, and the substances in this schedule are use for medical purposes. Possession of substances in this schedule typically results in less serious penalties than in Schedule I or II.
  • Schedule IV — Substances in this schedule usually have a lower potential for abuse than substances in Schedule III and are commonly used for medical applications. Possession of a substance in this schedule typically results in less serious criminal penalties than Schedule III.
  • Schedule V — Substances in this schedule generally have the lowest potential for abuse and are commonly used for medical applications. Possession of a substance in this schedule typically results in the least serious criminal penalties.

Florida Penalties for Possession Offenses

The penalties for drug possession charges are listed in section 775.082 and 775.083 of the Florida Statutes. These penalties can vary depending on the amount of the substance in the alleged offender’s possession, the type of substance, and whether the alleged offender has previously been convicted of a drug offense. The basic statutory drug penalties in Florida are as follows:

  • An individual that has been charged with possession of a controlled substance can generally face a felony of the third-degree conviction, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual that has been charged with possession of more than 10 grams of a Schedule I substance can be convicted of a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual that has been charged with possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana or certain substances in Schedule I can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Drug Possession Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges for alleged possession of a controlled substance throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive South Walton criminal defense lawyer who will make every to fight the allegations against you and help avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your drug possession charges today.