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Port Charlotte Drug Lawyer

Ruhl Law Group

Are you looking for an experienced drug attorney in Punta Gorda? If you, or a loved one, have been indicted on drug charges we may be able to help.

Ruhl Law Group handles all criminal cases including drug charges.

Port Charlotte Drug Lawyer

Ruhl Law Group provides legal representation in Manatee, Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota Counties.

We are effective and aggressive and will work to help you get results that you need, from minor to major charges, at affordable rates.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, call our office now for a free case review (941) 505-7845.

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If you have a legal question, concern, or would like to schedule a consultation simply fill out the form below.
If this is an urgent matter please call (941) 505-7845.

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Ruhl Law

Since beginning practice in 2002, Ruhl Law, P.C. has handled thousands of criminal cases. We have the experience you can trust when dealing with these matters and can help you navigate the confusing legal process. Our attorneys care about you and go the extra mile by making ourselves accessible after hours to answer your questions.

Simple cases, complex cases, and every matter between the extremes meet with legal knowledge, experience, and dedication to your rights at the law offices of Ruhl Law Group. We welcome you to our Southwest Florida offices. Call 888-443-1669. Or begin our consultation by filling out the contact form to the left.

Your freedom and rights are our main concern

The idea of spending time in jail is terrifying and there is no other experience quite like the total loss of personal liberty. And the longevity of criminal records that seem to last an eternity makes criminal charges more difficult than other legal challenges for our clients.

We practice criminal law with sincerity, experience, and energetic defense of your rights with the primary goal of restoring your life to its normal state before you got into trouble with the law.

We have handled thousands of Florida's criminal cases since we opened our practice in 2003. Our record shows that we can manage these legal matters in a way that protects your rights and goes every distance toward the preservation of your personal freedom. Use our experience in handling DUI cases in the Punta Gorda area to your advantage and call 941-505-7845 today!

You can depend on us to make ourselves available at whatever hour legal need may call for our help and representation.

Florida Drug Law Overview

Florida and the federal government have laws against unlawful use, possession, distribution or production of certain drugs. These include cocaine, heroin, marijuana and amphetamines. The laws aim to reduce illegal drug use and cut down on drug-related crimes.

There are five categories, or "schedules," of drugs based on their potential for dependency and abuse as compared with their therapeutic value. Schedule I controlled substances have the highest potential for dependency and no accepted medical use. Schedule V drugs have a low potential for dependency and accepted medical uses.

The most severe penalties for illegal possession, sale or manufacture of drugs involve those listed in Schedule I. The Attorney General has the authority to delete, add or reschedule drugs. State schedules refer to or are based on federal schedules.


The punishment for drug crimes in Florida generally depends on:

  • The quantity of the drug
  • Its classification under the schedules
  • The purpose of possession

The most serious drug crimes are:

  • Producing illegal drugs
  • Manufacturing drugs
  • Selling drugs

Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them is a serious crime. Prosecutors can prove your intent to distribute drugs just by showing the quantity of the drug, without any evidence you actually distributed the drug.

In most states, possession of drugs for personal use is a serious crime. But in some states, possession of drugs for personal use is punished less severely than distribution crimes. For example, in some states, possession of a small amount of marijuana (less than 50 grams) is decriminalized or treated as a disorderly person's offense. If there's a conviction, the punishment is often probation or a fine, and not prison. However, possessing larger amounts of illegal drugs, even for personal use, may be a serious crime.

Most minimum sentences range from one year in jail to three years in prison for first-time offenders. The minimum sentences for repeat offenders? Three to 12 years in prison.

Enhanced Punishment

Some states have enhanced penalties for drug crimes. These apply if:

  • Minors are used to distribute the drugs
  • The drugs are delivered or sold to minors
  • The drugs are sold or distributed near schools

Enhanced punishments vary by state. You may also be in danger of "forfeiting" your property if you're convicted of a drug crime. For example, if your house is used to make and distribute drugs, the government may be able to seize it.

Professional Drug Dealers

Special laws cover professional drug dealers. A "drug kingpin," or a person organizing, financing or managing a business to manufacture, transport or sell drugs, commits a serious crime.

There are special sentences for professional drug dealers. Federal law even has the death penalty for drug kingpins. Some states impose 25 years in prison without parole for professional drug dealers.

Questions for Your Florida Drug Lawyer

  • Do I need a lawyer if I'm going to plead guilty to a drug crime charge?
  • What are Florida drug schedules?
  • What are Florida sentencing guidelines?

Meet Our Team

Maria Mata Ruhl

Maria is the founder of Ruhl Law, P.A. and was admitted to practice in Florida in 2005. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Florida International University and received her J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, FL. During her time in law school, Maria served as a member of Law Review and the Moot Court Board.

She also interned as a law clerk for a Federal Judge in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. She is a member in good standing of the Florida Bar, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the National College for DUI Defense. Maria is fluent in English and Spanish. Contact Maria through email at, or by phone at (855) RUHL LAW.

Areas of Practice:

  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law

Proud Member of:

  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Sarasota County Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Manatee County Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National College for DUI Defense

Richard Ruhl

Richard Ruhl (Rick) grew up in Charlotte County and was admitted to practice in Florida in 2002, and has been in private practice in southwest Florida since 2003. He attended elementary, junior high, and high school in Englewood and college in Fort Myers, graduating from International College, with a Bachelor's degree, summa cum laude. After this, he finished his Juris Doctorate at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami in 2001.

After admission to the bar, Rick accepted a job with the Public Defender's Office, and from there, accepted a job offer from the Law Office of Robert Distefano in Fort Lauderdale. After spending a year with Robert Distefano, he moved back to Charlotte County to open his own practice. In 2011, Rick joined the firm of Ruhl Law. Contact Rick at or by phone at (855) RUHL LAW.

Areas of Practice:

  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury

Proud Member of:

  • Founding Member of the Charlotte County Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Manatee Office

Ruhl Law 811 Manatee Avenue W.
Bradenton FL 34205
(855) 784-5529 Mon-Fri 8:30a.m.-5:00 p.m. Get Directions

Sarasota Office

Ruhl Law 12 S. Lime Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34237
(855) 784-5529 By Appointment Get Directions

Port Charlotte Office

Ruhl Law 2811 Tamiami Trail, Suite 0
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(855) 784-5529 Mon-Fri 8:30a.m.-5:00 p.m. Get Directions