Drug Crimes FAQs
Q: What To Do If You Are Charged With Drug Possession?
A: It is important that you have an experience attorney on your side if you are charged with drug possession. There are numerous angles of attack available to you. Is what they seized really an illegal substance? We can have the court order independent testing. Did you really “possess” the narcotics under the law? In Florida there are two types of legal possession: actual possession and constructive possession. The elements of actual possession are self-explanatory, you actually had the narcotics in your hands or on your person. Constructive possession occurs where you have dominion and control over the contraband, know of its existence and know of its illicit nature. For example, the State cannot prove constructive possession where there are multiple people in an automobile with narcotics without additional evidence. If a motion to dismiss or suppress is not an option in your case there are still actions which can reduce your penalties. You may be eligible for diversion. The State can even be forced to offer you diversion under certain circumstances. Beginning treatment on your own may show the State and Court that you take the matter seriously and are trying to deal with your drug problem.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Selling Versus Possessing Narcotics?
A: Selling narcotics is more serious than possessing them. The charges will almost always be a felony. Possession of cocaine is a third degree felony while sale of cocaine is a second degree felony. Law enforcement often utilizes confidential informants in investigating potential drug dealers. The history and actions of such “C.I.’s” can give you defenses in your case. Their criminal record may show a jury or judge that they are liars. If law enforcement, or these “C.I.s” encouraged you to sell narcotics you may have an entrapment defense. Defending a sale of narcotics case is not as simple as it seems and requires an experienced defense attorney. There may be video or recordings of the alleged transaction. Analyzing these may show that the State’s case is flawed. In one case handled by the Faett Firm the officer made statements on video that the individual selling the drugs looked like the Defendant, but wasn’t him. Exposing this statement led to a drastically different result than what the State had been seeking. Law enforcement often waits long periods of time before making an arrest on a drug sales case. This provides defenses as to identification as memories can fade. Law enforcement often conducts multiple transactions with an individual. As these offenses are usually felonies, adding additional counts increases the minimum and maximum penalties greatly. If law enforcement cannot come up with a good reason they conducted multiple sales other than to increase penalties we can argue that the judge should sentence you below the guidelines if you are convicted.
Q: What Are Blood And Urine Test Used For?
A: The State may seek to have urine or blood test results moved in in your DUI case. There are several circumstances in which blood or urine may come into play. If you were injured and appeared at a hospital for treatment law enforcement can ask you for blood or urine. If you took a breath test and the results did not match the level of the impairment observed by the officer he may request a urine sample. Finally, if you were in an accident and someone was seriously injured or killed the officer may be able to compel you to give blood if he sees signs of impairment. To challenge a blood test it is very important to look at the circumstances around the blood being taken, both legal circumstances and medical circumstances. If the proper legal requirements are not met it may be possible to keep the blood out of evidence. If improper medical techniques were used the accuracy of the results may be challenged. Urine tests also need to be examined closely. In addition to the factors in a blood test, whether or not the results show levels or just the existence of a substance can be very important. An argument that what they prove is substantially outweighed by the prejudice they may have on the jury can keep them out of evidence.
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