Drug Charges


It is important to hire an experienced criminal attorney because Florida's criminal drug laws are extremely harsh, complicated, and could seriously jeopardize your liberty. Generally, sale of a controlled substance is a second degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in state prison. However, a sale of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or church is a first degree felony and is punishable up to 30 years. Furthermore, if you are charged with drug trafficking, you may be facing a minimum fine of $50,000 and a minimum mandatory prison sentence ranging from 3 years up to 30 years, depending on the weight, quantity, and type of drugs charged. Even simple possession of marijuana has a maximum penalty of one year in county jail. Furthermore, a conviction for possession of marijuana or any illegal drug will suspend your drivers license.

Hire a Specialist

I am an experienced Board Certified Trial Specialist. Less than one percent of attorneys in Florida are Board Certified. Only Board Certified attorneys are permitted to call themselves specialists or experts in Criminal Law. Common sense dictates that you don't hire a family doctor to perform brain surgery - you hire a specialist. Likewise, because your freedom is at stake, don't make the mistake of hiring a criminal defense lawyer who isn't recognized by the Florida Bar as a specialist in criminal law. Instead, hire a criminal attorney who is Board Certified.

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Fortunately, there are many ways that an experienced criminal lawyer can help you fight these charges. Because the Constitution protects us from illegal searches and seizures, all evidence is inadmissable if it is obtained in violation of a person's rights. Therefore, evidence can be suppressed and your case can be dismissed if your rights were violated. Likewise, a criminal attorney can raise the entrapment defense. A person is innocent if he had no prior intention to commit the offense but was persuaded to commit the offense by law enforcement officers. Because confidential informants are considered law enforcement officer

for purposes of this defense, it is crucial for your criminal attorney to vigorously attack the credibility of any informants. Furthermore, Chapter 934 Florida Statues and the Florida and United States Constitutions grants us protection from prohibited uses of intercepted wire, oral, or electric communication intercepting devices. Strict legal procedures must be followed by law enforcement before wiretaps or other recording can be used against you in court. Therefore, it of primary importance that your criminal attorney thoroughly challenge the admissibility of any recordings.

However, many defendants are interested in resolving their cases by entering into a plea bargain. Furthermore, you may qualify for a downward departure from the court which could lead to a non prison sentence. I can assist you in getting accepted into drug treatment as a possible alternative to incarceration.

In order to convict a person for possession of drugs, the State Attorney has to prove three elements beyond all reasonable doubt (1) the Defendant was in possession of a substance; (2) the substance was a controlled substance, (3) and the Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the controlled substance.

If the substance is found in a place in which a person does not have control, in order to prove constructive possession, the state must prove the person's actual control over the drugs and knowledge of its presence. However, mere proximity to the drugs is not sufficient to establish control if it is contained in a place in which the person does not exercise control. Possession does not need to be exclusive. In other words, if two people are in joint possession, they can both be prosecuted.

The United States Constitution protects citizens against illegal searches and seizures. The exclusionary rule makes any evidence inadmissable if it is obtained in violation of a person's constitutional rights. Therefore, even if you were in possession of drugs, your criminal attorney can have the case dismissed if your rights were violated by the arresting police officer

Here are just a few of the many questions that an experienced criminal defense attorney needs to ask in order to determine whether your rights were violated: Q: Did the police officer have reasonable suspicion to make an initial stop? Q: Was the stop's duration only temporary to allow the least intrusive means available to dispel the officer's suspicion in a short time?

Q: Did the officer have a reasonable belief that you were armed and dangerous in order to frisk you for weapons prior to your arrest? Q: Did the police officer have probable cause to make an arrest? Q: Did the police officer obtain uncoerced consent to search your person or your vehicle? Q: Did the police officer search areas only within his lawful scope? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then your rights were violated and the case against you should be dismissed!