Most of our readers in Florida know that if people are caught with illegal drugs in their possession they will likely face criminal charges. However, there are other ways that illegal drugs can lead to criminal problems for Florida residents. Manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs, for example, can also lead to criminal charges.

In fact, taking part in either manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is likely to lead to much more significant criminal charges than mere possession of these types of drugs. While a court may view a person who merely possesses illegal drugs as a potential drug abuser who needs substance abuse treatment rather than a prison sentence, a person who is charged with crimes related to manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is not likely to get such treatment. Instead, such a person is more likely to be viewed as a “dealer” instead of a “user,” and will probably face a fierce prosecution effort.

However, like all criminal defendants, anyone who is facing charges related to manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs has constitutional rights. For example, the circumstances of the arrest in the case need to be examined. Was a search warrant properly obtained? Was the search executed properly? Or, when the arrest occurred, was the suspect forced to make statements against his own interest, potentially incriminating himself? These questions, among others, must be addressed in the early stages of planning a criminal defense strategy.

Any charges involving illegal drugs are treated quite seriously in Florida. A person who is facing drug crime charges should explore the available legal defense options.