Alprazolam, often known as Xanax, can only be possessed in Florida with a valid prescription from a licensed doctor. Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance often used to treat anxiety and other diagnoses. It has a high chance of becoming addictive with continued use. Without a valid prescription, it is illegal to possess the substance and punishable by law.

Unauthorized possession of any substance listed under the drug penalty groups is illegal in Florida. A person may also be charged with another crime if they acquired the Xanax by:

  • Falsifying a doctor’s prescription;
  • “Doctor shopping,” or visiting several doctors; and
  • Using false information to get a prescription.

Common street names for Xanax are bars, footballs, hulk, xanies, ladders, and z-bars.

Florida Possession of Xanax Attorney

If you have been arrested for possession of Xanax, contact Galigani Law Firm. Attorney Dean Galigani and his legal team at Galigani Law Firm can put their skills to work for you, defending you against the charges and seeking to have your charges dropped. They have extensive experience defending clients charged with drug crimes.

Galigani Law Firm serves clients in Florida, including Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Columbia County and Gilchrist County. Call (352) 375-0812 now to arrange a free consultation today.

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Xanax Possession Charges

Florida law prohibits possessing a controlled substance without a valid permit. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had real or constructive possession of Xanax to secure a conviction.

There are a few distinctions between actual and constructive possession under Florida law. When the substance is on a person, it means they actually possess it. For instance, one would be in actual possession of Xanax if they were holding it, had it in their pocket, or had it in their handbag.

Constructive possession is when the drug is in a person’s possession because it is under their control rather than being within “easy reach.” That indicates that it’s inside their house or somewhere else that they have full control over. For instance, a person would be deemed to have constructive possession of the drug if police found Xanax in a rented storage unit under that name.

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Possession Of Xanax With Intent To Sell

When a defendant possesses a significant amount of narcotics, the police can suspect they intended to sell or distribute them. If this happens, they can be charged with possession with intent to sell rather than mere possession. If any of the following are found at the crime scene, law authorities may increase the charges to possession with intent:

  • Drug paraphernalia;
  • Scales;
  • Plastic baggies;
  • Large amounts of cash; and
  • Incriminating verbal or written statements.

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Possession of Xanax Penalties in Florida

In Florida, possession of Xanax without a prescription is a third-degree crime punishable by:

  • Five years (maximum) in prison;
  • $5,000 maximum fine; and/or
  • Five years of probation sentence.

A judge could sentence someone found guilty of possessing Xanax to just probation, but a defendant could serve up to five years in prison.

The Florida DHSMV has the authority to suspend an individual’s driver’s license for one year in accordance with Florida Statutes § 322.055, in addition to the previously mentioned punishments.

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Possible Defenses for Possession of Xanax in FL

A knowledgeable drug crimes attorney can create a solid defense plan to assist the accused in getting the best outcomes in their case. Among these defenses are the following:

Constructive Possession

The prosecutor would argue “constructive possession” if the police found the Xanax in an area where other people had access. This statute requires that the prosecutor prove the following two elements before someone can be found guilty of possessing Xanax:

  • Knowing the Xanax was present; and
  • Possession of and authority over the Xanax.

Illegal Search And Seizure

In many cases, police overstep their bounds and force people to allow searches of their vehicles, homes, or bodies, or they force them to consent to a search. The judge will suppress the resulting evidence because it was obtained unlawfully if one of the following can be proven to have occurred.


Entrapment is a legal defense that contends that the defendant was coerced into committing a crime that would not have otherwise been committed but for the actions of law enforcement. Entrapment is an affirmative defense, so it is the defendant’s burden to prove that the officer’s actions led to a crime they had no criminal intent to commit.

Valid Prescription

A defendant can avoid a conviction upon showing proof of a valid Xanax prescription. This defense, however, is inapplicable if they had a fake prescription, had more drugs than was allowed, or the Xanax was legally prescribed for someone else.

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Pretrial Diversion Programs

For felony Xanax possession charges, Florida offers two main pretrial diversion programs: Drug Court and Pretrial Diversion Program with Drug Conditions. Each program has unique eligibility criteria. Diversion programs require successful completion for charges to be dismissed. In most cases, the accused must pay fines, consent to drug tests, and attend a court-ordered rehabilitation program.

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Additional Resources

Online Sunshine | Florida State Legislature – Online Sunshine provides a listing of all currently-passed laws in Florida. Visit the website to learn more about Florida’s drug laws, the consequences for breaking them, and the charges that apply to Xanax.

Pretrial Intervention Program | The Florida Senate – The Florida Senate website provides the statute covering information about the various diversion programs available for drug charges. Pretrial diversion programs are run by the Florida Department of Corrections.

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Gainesville Possession Of Xanax Lawyer | Alachua County, FL

If you have been arrested for possession of Xanax, we recommend you get in contact with the legal team at Galigani Law Firm. Dean Galigani is a skilled criminal defense attorney that has represented hundreds of clients charged with drug crimes. He can form a strong defense for your case and seek a reduction or dismissal of charges.

Contact the Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812. Attorney Galigani and his legal team accept clients throughout the greater Alachua County area including Gainesville, High Springs, Alachua, Archer, La Crosse, and Waldo.

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