possession of cocaine with intent to sell, purchase of cocaine is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum
of 15 years in prison.
The Florida legistlature considers the buying of cocaine to be just as
bad as selling it.
In Miami-Dade and Broward, people accused of purchasing cocaine are usually
caught through surveillance operations (or reverse stings when the undercover
cops are the sellers) conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Departments Tactical
Narcotics Team (TNT) or the Broward Sheriff's Office.
A typical purchase of cocaine case exists when an officer watching a suspect
drug seller (called an "eyeball") observes the accused buyer
exchange what appears to be money for drugs. The accused buyer is then
"taken down" by a team of police officers, who upon searching
the accused buyer, may find a baggie of cocaine. If the seller is taken
down and is discovered to have cash on his person, the accused buyer may
be charged with purchase of cocaine.
Purchase of cocaine is not an easy charge for the State to prove in that
situation. A better situation for the State may be if the seller was actually
an undercover cop. But reverse stings (where the undercover cop poses
as a seller to bust drug buyers) are rare as police are more interested
in arresting drug dealers than drug users.
If you are arrested for purchase of cocaine, you will be taken to jail
and given a $5,000 - $7,500
, depending on your priors and ties to the community. If you have no priors,
you may be released to pretrial services (PTS) without having to post
a monetary bond. If you have no priors, you may be ROR'd (released
From the date of arrest the State has 21 days to file charges. If they
do not file on the 21st day, they may be able to reset up to the 40th
day, should they have good cause. As a
former Miami-Dade prosecutor
, I can tell you that most drug possession-type cases that are not filed
by the 21st day are usually no actioned.
I always tell my clients that this 21 - 30 day period is a crucial time
to hire a
criminal defense attorney. That is because during this period of time, the case is being processed
through the State Attorney's Office. Officers are being interviewed,
reports are being reviewed. A criminal defense attorney can intervene
during this time and speak with a prosecutor before the charges are formally
filed. A good defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced
to simple possession of
(a third-degree felony) or even dismissed, if the police violated the
If the charge of purchase of cocaine is filed, there are many options available.
For a client with no prior record, Drug Court may be an option, although
not always in purchase situations. That is why getting the charge reduced
to possession will help greatly, since possession of cocaine always qualifies
for Drug Court if the client has no prior history.
If the client successfully completes Drug Court, the charge will be dismissed
and the client will be eligible to have his or her arrest expunged.
If the client is not eligible for Drug Court, the State may offer a withhold
and probation, with conditions that include drug testing and community
service hours. If the client has numerous priors, the State may seek a
conviction and jail time.
Drug crimes in Miami-Dade and Broward are taken seriously. Whether possession
or trafficking, the State Attorney's Office wants to see drug offenders
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I am a criminal defense attorney who handles cocaine possession, purchase,
cases in Miami and Broward.